from a sermon on the Baptism of our Lord, 2009:
In baptism, God’s Spirit descends upon us and makes us heirs through faith — our own faith if we are old enough to possess it, and the faith of our parents and godparents if we are not yet old enough to possess a faith of our own. This wonderful gift is always new in each person, but it is also always a hand-me-down, it is a gift that is given through others, though it comes from God, given and received. Much as a new tree can only grow from a seed from an old tree, the new life in Christ through baptism always comes through those who are already baptized — the members of the church, which is the body of Christ at work in the world. This new life is a gift that is always given through those who have received it before.
And it becomes ours — a part of ourselves, a part of who we are as children of God who have a personal relationship with God, whom we can now call “our Father in heaven.” The love of God for each and all of us begins and grows in that special and holy relationship.
Ultimately, evangelism is the good stewardship of the Gospel: sharing that greatest gift, that wonderful presence. It is a gift we would never think of returning to the store, or stowing in the attic. It is a gift so wonderful, so perfect for each of us, the only gift of which it can truly be said, “one size fits all,” the gift that is older than time itself and yet is always new. It is the gift of salvation. God be praised, that we have, each and every one of us, such a wonderful gift to share, through Jesus Christ our Lord.+
Read or listen to it all, if you wish.
Tobias Haller BSG