Remembering Our Baptism

Since I relocated the baptismal font toward the entry of the center isle in the sanctuary, a few of you said that that was nice, but why?

 

Good question!

 

Because Holy Baptism is typically the entry point into saving faith, the baptismal font has historically been placed at a location where worshippers had to walk past it before they could enter into the church to worship God as his baptized children.  In Martin Luther’s day, the baptismal font was located either in a separate building immediately in front of the church called the “Baptistery,” or at the entrance of the church nave itself, where all the baptized parishioners had to walk past on their entry into the nave for worship.  As each baptized person would pass by the font, they would dip a finger into the water and make the sign of the cross both upon their forehead, then upon their hearts to remind themselves as being redeemed by Christ the crucified, and remember the promise of God: “

all who believe and are baptized, will be saved.”  Mark 16:16. This is why there is also water in the font at every worship service for all who desire to continue this very worthwhile practice. 

 

Unfortunately, since Martin Luther’s time, the font has been often relegated to a place that is unobtrusive and even out of sight in many churches today.  In some churches, the font is even being used as a stand for flowers!   But recently, the font has once again taken its rightful place in many of our synodical college and seminary chapels in a most prominent place: in front of the nave. 

 

May we all remember what God has done for us, and continues to do for each one of us every day of our lives because of our baptism.

 

God’s richest blessings,

 

Rev. Gary Siefert