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Just in case you haven’t had reason to sing to the Lord yet today, here’s one: the splash of the water! God has made you His child by the water and the powerful word of grace, cleansing and renewal of holy baptism, and that’s enough reason to rejoice and sing. Anytime. Anywhere. Always.
So what do we sing? How about a song the Lord Himself has written through His inspired servant, David. How about a song of celebration from the anointed prince of Israel, a great sinner (like me) who knew the joy of sainthood (like me)?
Here’s a song for you: “Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name” (Psalm 103:1).
This Psalm has some terrific Lutheran baptismal theology. The Christian life is merely a joyous response to God for all of His goodness and grace, and David has expressed it so beautifully in these words.
Our baptismal life is a celebration of God’s undeserved, unmerited, and sadly, too often unappreciated gifts of grace. Baptismal wellbeing is nothing more than the simple act of remembering God’s goodness moment by moment throughout the day. Psalm 103 is a great litany of that remembrance and appreciation.
“Forget not all his benefits” (v. 2). This Psalm reads like a systematic enumeration of baptism’s benefits. Verse 3: “…who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases.” Every day I remember that I certainly am a sinner, worthy of His condemnation, but “Praise the Lord,” I am forgiven and healed. I’m redeemed, crowned, satisfied and renewed (vv. 4-5).
Even on my worst days of stress, anxiety, loneliness and despair, the work of God in the grace of baptism still holds. Redeemed. Crowned. Satisfied. Renewed. “Praise the Lord!”
But most of all: forgiven. Take a look at verses 7-18 of David’s beautiful Psalm. Is there a more beautiful, poetic description of God’s saving work in my life anywhere in the Scriptures?
His anger is slow, but His love abounds. “He does not treat us as our sins deserve,” but has removed my sins, “as far as the east is from the west.” Foretelling the teaching of Jesus Himself, David tells me that the Lord God is my compassionate Father, who carries me, His dear child, in the bosom of His love.
I have no idea how your day is going today, but right now as I type, I’m praying for you.
If you’re having a great day and everything is going just terrific, I’m hoping you’ll pause to be renewed in your baptism and sing this Psalm in Praise to the Lord.
If you’re going through a rough day or a painful season, I’m hoping you’ll pause for the blessing of God. Make the sign of the cross, right now, on your forehead and on your heart, to mark you as one redeemed by Christ the crucified. “Forget not all His benefits.” Remember your identity as a baptized child of the God of heaven, and sing to the Lord.
As a child of heaven, good day or bad, or just having a day, join with His angels, His heavenly host, who right now are singing at the throne of majesty and glory.
Your Father is with you, blessing you with His good gifts.
Tell Him, “Thank you, Lord.” That’s baptismal wellbeing.
Thanks for reading.
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