Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
We have God's promise that the Holy Spirit is always with us, guiding us in this life. The Spirit leads us to share God's love with all those in need, making Christ known wherever we go. At our baptism, we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, and Christ lives with us forever. Consequently, we are never alone, especially during the dark times of our lives.
I have been asked to share my thoughts on the placement of the Baptismal Font and the Christ Candle in our beautiful sanctuary. It seems like many churches went through a period when the Baptismal Font and Christ Candle were moved off to the side. However, in my theological training, we were taught that these religious items should be "front and center" in our worship space.
The two sacraments of the Lutheran Church are Baptism and Holy Communion. Jesus is always coming down to us, through the water and the Word, and through the bread, wine, and the Word. Just as our altar serves as the holy table for communion, our baptismal font should also be a focal point in our sanctuary. Some Lutheran churches have placed the font right inside the entrance of the sanctuary, and some have placed the font in the center of the sanctuary. With the configuration of our worship space, the font fits perfectly by our center aisle table. As Martin Luther said, we daily die to sin and rise to new life in Christ. Having the baptismal font "front and center" is a reminder of our baptismal promises and our new life in the Risen Christ.
Likewise, the Christ Candle is another focal point for our worship. This candle is lit throughout Easter, and for baptisms and funerals. In our sanctuary, the candle fits perfectly by the Baptismal Font. At our baptism, we are charged to "let your light so shine before others that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father in heaven." (ELW, p. 231) Having the light of Christ by the Baptismal Font reminds us of our sacred callings as God's people in this world. The light of Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit, leads us throughout our lives, as we know that Jesus is always with us.
May God's promises, proclaimed with water at your baptism, always abide in your heart. And may Christ's light shine brightly through you, making God's love known to others.
Yours in the Risen Christ,
Pastor Todd +