Never separate yourself from the Church. For nothing is stronger than the Church. Your hope is the Church alone; your salvation is inside the Church only, your refuge is the Church. She is higher than the heavens, and wider than the whole earth. She never grows old, but is always full of vigor and vitality. Holy Scripture, when pointing to her strength and stability, calls her an unshakable mountain ...
The D family is a covenant household and so today they bring R for covenant baptism.
We have probably seen more rainbows this month than we care to. Why? Because the symbol of the rainbow has been hijacked. God gave the rainbow as a sign of his promise but man has turned it into a sign of his perversion.
The rainbow belongs to God and it means what he says it means. I can assure you, God wants his rainbow back. What does the rainbow have to do with baptism? Rainbows are made of light and water, so there are many things we could unpack that way (light and water are biblical symbols of truth and cleansing, obviously). But I want to focus on something else. The rainbow comes after the flood in Genesis 9. Peter tells us the flood was a type of baptism in 1 Peter 3. That means the promise of the rainbow is connected to baptism as well. The flood, the rainbow, the ark, and baptism all interrelate.
The rainbow means God will never again destroy the earn on the scale that he did in Noah’s day. There will still be localized judgments but God will never destroy the earth and it’s people (one family excepted). What will God do in the future, after Noah? His intentions and purposes are to bless the creation, to bless all the family groups of the earth. God will forgive sinners rather than destroy sinners. He will flood the world with salvation, rather than judgment. Baptism uses a small amount go water, to be sure, but millions upon millions of baptisms add up to a new flood. God id raining down salvation; he is unleash a torrent of heavenly grace. Baptism destroys the old and inaugurates the new.
The rainbow is God’s warbow. If you visualize it as the ancients would have, it’s a bow hung in the sky above the earth. Which way is the bow's arrow pointing? The arrow is pointed up at heaven, rather than down at the earth This means God himself will take the arrows of wrath we deserve. God bears his own judgment so his people can be granted salvation.
Thus, we can say a flood of grace is contained in the font. The rainbow and baptism together are signs that assure us of God‘s forgiving and transforming love. God is saving the world, one baptism at a time. All those miniature (baptismal) floods will add up to a world flooded with grace.
Further, in baptism God brings us on board the ark of the greater Noah. He brings us into the church, the place of blessing and rest amidst the storms life. The church is God’s ark of salvation, captained by Jesus our Savior. B and K bring R for baptism today, so the promise of the rainbow, and the promise of the ark, and the promise of baptism, and the promise of the covenant all might be hers. Just as Noah brought his children on board the ark so his family would be saved, so B, as the head of his household, is ensuring that his family is onboard the ark of Jesus.
Paul’s formula for unity in Ephesians 4:5 is helpful because of its balance: there is one faith, one Lord, one baptism (+ one Eucharist) — that is to say, there is the content of the faith, the way it is lived out under Christ’s lordship, and the sacramental boundaries drawn around the church. All three are important ingredients in our unity. The objectivity of the covenant matters, but nothing objective guarantees subjective faithfulness. Unity has both objective and subjective elements.