“A Short Winter’s Nap”

Should the Christian stand all day long at the grave of all joys which he enjoyed in past years?…Should the Christian be reminded all day long that the flowers of his youth fall more and more?  He stands planted by God in the water of his Baptism as a palm tree which becomes greener and greener and whose leaves never wither.  Yes, his Baptism makes death for him like a short winter’s nap, out of which an eternal spring–an eternal youth–follows.  For Baptism is a bath that washed me not only once when I received it–washed me pure with Christ’s blood–but it continuously washes me clean even daily for as long as I hold it in faith. …

Now then, all of you who believe in God’s Word, let your watchword for entering the new year be this: “I am baptized!”  Although the world may laugh at this comfort, the enthusiasts vex its confidence…nevertheless, abandon any other dear pledges and speak only throughout the entire year to come, in all terrors of conscience and necessity through sin and death: “I am baptized!  I am baptized!  Hallelujah!”  And you shall prevail!  In every time of need, you will find comfort in your Baptism; on account of it Satan will flee from your faith and confession; and in death you will see heaven opened and will finally come into the joy of your Lord to celebrate a great year of jubilee, a year of praise, with all the angels forever and ever.  Amen!  [C.F.W. Walther, TDP, Writing for Jan. 1]

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