First Lesson: Genesis 1: 1 - 2:4
Responsive Reading: Psalm 8
Second Lesson: 2 Corinthians 13: 11-13
Gospel Lesson: Matthew 28: 16-20
Grace and Peace from Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
This morning, I want to address the following question “Why Baptism?” or “What difference does Baptism make to Killian’s life?”
Before addressing this question, let me begin with a story. I have a friend that I’ll call Mike. When I first met Mike, he would walk around with a perpetually angry look on his face. Those around him knew Mike for having a temper that could explode like a volcano at any time. Mike would often go looking for people with whom to argue. Mike liked to live hard; no Friday night was too intense for Mike. Mike eventually meets a girl named Melissa. Melissa was Mike’s opposite in seemingly every way. Melissa was positive and bubbly. When Mike first started dating Melissa, he wanted to keep it a secret. Mike didn’t want people to think he had gone soft with a girl like Melissa. Overtime, Melissa began to change Mike. Mike began to become more self-controlled and patient. Mike saw more of a purpose for his life than just being the wildest guy around. Mike would tell everyone who listened how crazy that he was about Melissa. Today, Mike and Melissa are married with a young child like Killian. Mike works for Hospice comforting the dying. I would have never believed this when I met Mike a decade ago.
What Mike and Melissa’s story reminds us is “How love can change people.” When I first met Mike, I could never imagine him rolling on the ground playing with a child or singing a silly song. Not Mike with his perpetual scowl. Little ones without even knowing it, have the potential to change a parent’s whole outlook on the world.
Parenthood never promises to be easy. We might wait for life to come into the world, but very soon sleepless nights tend to be a burden. The years ahead will probably bring squabbles with parents, nasty words, and a child whose behavior has the continual potential to improve.
So back to the question of “Why Baptism?” Baptism reminds us of how we come into this world, weak and dependent on our parents for seemingly every need. Baptism points to the nature of our relationship with the one whom we celebrate on this Trinity Sunday who created the Heavens and the Earth. Baptism reminds us how as we gather here today that every breath we have in this world is a gift from God. Baptism is God declaring in spite of life’s troubles that “My grace and mercy are sufficient for you.”
In our Gospel lesson for Today, Jesus gives a final command to the Disciples before leaving this world. Jesus’ command is to baptize everyone they encounter both old and young alike in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit”. Jesus did this for the sake of proclaiming this good news given to Killian on this day.
Baptism points us to the great message of the scriptures. The scriptures contain their share of conflicts: between family members and nearly everyone and God. The whole of the Christian Scriptures we can understand as such: “No matter where life takes you, no matter what storms come your way, even unto death itself, our God does not abandon his people.
The words of Isaiah printed on the Baptismal banner drive home this message: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you, I have summoned you by name; you are mine… For I am the Lord your God… You are precious and honored in my sight.”
Pastor Leon Stier says it best “What every child needs most of all is at least two people who are just crazy about them. “ There are no guarantees in any of this, but that kind of love will go a long way. For a child to thrive in the world.
When Killian was first born, he could not speak anyone’s name. Even though Killian could not call out “Mom” or “Dad,” Killian remains Holly and Dane’s son forever. Baptism is God’s way of declaring Killian to be his child. Baptism is God to saying to Killian; you are part of my family forever.
Killian’s family gets bigger on this day. Killian’s family now not only includes the members of Sychar Lutheran Church, but he joins all Baptized Christians around the world. The Christian family that Killian joins Today comes from all walks of life. He joins people baptized nearly 100 years ago, he joins people with Alzheimers’ disease, and people who have lost the ability to speak for themselves. Baptism reminds us that it is God’s grace which sustains us regardless of our capabilities. Baptism serves a proclamation of God’s commitment to us all the days of our life.
Many years from now, Killian will be on his way out of this world. At this time, the promises of his baptism will still ring true.
Last weekend was commencement at William Kelley. Thirty-some graduates from all different walks of life marched across the stage no matter what differences came before them; they would forever be known as the Class of 2017 at William Kelley. No one can ever take this away from them. No matter how far away from Silver Bay each of these graduates may journey. In much the same way Killian receives a promise on this day that takes him beyond the grave itself into all eternity. Killian here’s God voice coming down from the sky and declaring “You are my beloved.”
In just a few minutes, we will sign the Baptismal hymn “Borning Cry.” The hymn points to God’s promises to be with us from the time of our birth throughout the end of one’s life. Borning Cry ends with the powerful promise “When the evening closes in, and you shut your weary eyes, I’ll be there as I have always been, with just one more surprise.” It is this promise of Baptism belonging to Killian on this day which says “The Christian hope shall never leave those who believe.” Resurrection is more powerful than the grave. Jesus says to Killian on this day, “Through water, I have made you a member of my family forever.” Amen
 The following sermon is heavily influenced by Pastor Leon Stier’s “Sermon at My Grandson’s Baptism”. The sermon is found on Pastor Stier’s website Email Mediatations posted in part a (Sept.10.2015) and part b (Sept.11.2015).
 Stier, Leon. ‘Sermon at My Grandson’s Baptism(a).” Email Mediatations. 10.Sept.2015. Web. June.5.2017.
 Stier, Leon. ‘Sermon at My Grandson’s Baptism(a).
 2 Corinthians 12:9.
 Stier, Pastor Leon. “Sermon at My Grandson’s Baptism(b) Email Mediatations. 11.Sept.2015. Web. June.5.2017.
 Isaiah 43:1b, 3a.4a.
 Stier, Pastor Leon. “Sermon at My Grandson’s Baptism(b).”.
 Matthew 3:17.
 Stier, Pastor Leon. “Sermon at My Grandson’s Baptism(b).”