Yesterday we celebrated the Baptism of our Lord, and considered the significance of our own Baptism as well. I thought I would ask a question:
In your family, what do you do to remember your baptismal birthday?
Many congregations give candles to the newly baptized. If you have one, do you light it to remind your child of the significance of that day?
Some congregations will give a personalized baptismal banner to the newly baptized. If you happen to have one of these, does it hang in your son or daughter's bedroom?
Shells are another common gift given to the newly baptized. Do you have one of these symbolic reminders displayed prominently on a dresser, or some other shelf?
Luther took great comfort in knowing he had been baptized. When the Old Adam would attack him, and Satan would tempt him to doubt the promises of God, he would cling to the promises made to him in his Baptism. No other word is greater than God's Word of promise, the Word spoken at your Baptism.
The easiest method of remembering your Baptism is to make the sign of the cross, the sign that was made upon your forehead and upon your heard to mark you as one redeemed by Christ the crucified. When we make the sign of the cross when we hear the words of the Invocation, for example, we are remembering that Triune name of God was written upon us on that glorious day.
Remembering this is significant, because it gives us great comfort to be reminded that 1) our sins have been forgiven (Acts 2:38; 22:16), 2) we have been rescued from death and the devil (Rom. 6:3, 5; Gal. 3:27; Col. 1:13-14), and we have been given eternal salvation (Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21; Titus 3:5).
Do you know your baptismal birthday? Of course we all know that day that we were born into our earthly families, but do you know the day you became a child of your heavenly Father? In my case it's easy to remember because it's the same day as my sister's birthday (March 18, 1979). Let me ask another question: Do you kids know their baptismal birthdays? As they grow up, and face the attacks of the enemy, knowing that they have been baptized will provide them with great comfort. For in Baptism, our Lord writes His name upon us, and calls us His own!