Pastor Mark Anderson

In the book Pilgrim’s Progress, Christian and his friend Hopeful see the gate to paradise. But between them and the gate is a very deep river. There is no bridge. To arrive safely at the gate they must go through the deep water, knowing that the water will be as deep or shallow as their trust, faith in the king who lives beyond the gate.

When Christian goes down into the water, the waves come over his head. He fears he won’t get to the other side, to the promised land. Hopeful’s feet touch the bottom of the river, so he encourages Christian with words of faith until Christian finally shouts, “I see Him again!” Christian suddenly feels his feet to be on firm ground. Faith is restored.

What can drive away the clouds of care that make reaching tomorrow so unpromising? Much of life can be spent in the effort to find answers to this question. But the Christian may want to remember something about the cares, burdens and concerns of this life; the water of baptism, among other things, represents our being plunged into the deepest waters of living, even unto death. And it is in these waters that we lose our old selves even as the new person is being brought along in faith.

The Christian life is one of continual dying and rising. The pattern here is not an upward one, from glory to glory. We live in Christ. The shape of His life is the shape of our lives. The resurrection came at the cost of the cross, just as our lives will be set free, as His was, by going through death.

So, dear Christian, if the waves this day seem to high and the crossing too perilous, know this; you are precisely where your baptism has brought you. The waters, which seem so threatening, are not too great a challenge for your Lord. He has made the perilous crossing before you. Even now he remains with you. One day, you will be brought safely to the other side where the tree of life and a crown of gold await you. And on that distant shore and in His greater light, you will join with all God’s children in the everlasting chorus of praise and thanksgiving!

May the peace of God that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in

Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Published by Pastor Mark Anderson

Lutheran pastor, husband, dad, archaeology nut, serious blues guitarist and aspiring luthier.

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