When I set about preparing an edition on baptism, I was worried there wouldn’t be enough ‘new’ to say about this simple yet mysterious and most blessing-laden sacrament.

Well, perhaps what we can share about baptism is nothing ‘new’, but it sure is worth reminding ourselves of the gifts we have received through the combination of earthly water and the heavenly power of God’s word.

What I actually found as I spoke to different people were more wonderful, moving and inspiring stories from our Lutheran family than I could squeeze into these pages. And that’s just the ones I heard about over the past couple of months! Whether local or globally based, these stories of lives and relationships transformed are bright and brilliant signposts to God’s grace and promises, and his redemptive work through the death and resurrection of Jesus and the unfailing prompting and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Of the many promises and blessings of baptism, a few are mentioned again and again by people sharing their stories – becoming a child of God no matter what the age at which we are baptised, the forgiveness of sins and new life in Christ Jesus. But wait, there’s more! This may risk a reference to the ubiquitous steak knives in many a telemarketer’s toolkit, but it’s true. The gift of the Holy Spirit, deliverance from death and the devil, eternal salvation … they all come to us in baptism.

Many of us don’t remember our baptism day if we were brought before God as infants. But the power and privilege of baptism are the same whether we were baptised after three weeks or 83 years. The New Testament is full of verses highlighting miracles worked by God in baptism. One of my favourite texts, along with any reference to being made a member of God’s family, is from 1 Corinthians 6:11, ‘You were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God’.

I pray that you’ll be excited by the stories we are so blessed to share in the following pages and that you’ll be encouraged to praise God for the fact you have been made his precious child and ‘marked as his own’ (Ephesians 1:13).

Also, this month, along with highlighted resources, we introduce you to the new leader of Australian Lutheran World Service, and feature reports from education and mission leaders’ gatherings. And, for our print subscribers, you’ll find a bonus copy of Border Crossings from LCA International Mission inside (digital subscribers can head to https://lcamission.org.au and find a digital copy under the Resources tab).


PS – Thank you, too, to subscribers who have been affected by delayed invoicing for your patience while we complete the changeover to a new database system.

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