Today is the first day of February. Now, when I see a word that looks strange to me, I like to investigate its origin. “February” looks strange to me…so off I went. I found that it has its root in the Latin word “Februa” which was a purification feast held at roughly this point in the year. This “festival” involved ritual washing and bathing; cleansing, and knowing what I do about ancient Roman bath customs this is where the investigation ceased! So, I guess the message here is that during this month of February we should all bathe at least once, whether we need it or not. That reminds me of another bathing, one that is required of us just once. That would be our baptism. Paul describes it (in his letter to Titus) as “The washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior.” (3:5-6) In our baptism we are washed clean of our sins, regenerated to new life, and renewed in our minds and spirit. All of this comes as the gift of, and by the power of, the Spirit of God. We only need one baptism as from that point on we live in its ongoing reality; that we are the made the children of God and heirs to all He has in Christ Jesus. Each day we remember and live in our baptismal grace, forgiven of our sins; that means all guilt condemnation and punishment have been removed, and are free to walk in the ways of Jesus our Savior.
Pastor Brian Albrecht has served St. John's since June of 2009