May 22, 2017

1 Peter 3:21 Water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God.It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

Some scholars think that the primary purpose of this entire letter was to prepare people for baptism and becoming an official part of the community of faith. I don’t quite see it, but then again, I don’t consider myself a Biblical scholar. This statement is pretty straight forward even for non-scholars. The understanding of sacraments has divided Christians for a long time. When I come across a verse like this one I am reminded that it is not the act that has magical power in and of itself but what the act represents or, as my tradition words it, of which it is a sign and seal. It is what God has done through Jesus, here primarily focusing on his resurrection, that makes all the difference. All our acts, including baptism, are an indication of our trust in that. We want to treat such acts with serious reverence but not cross a line into superstition. Superstition is defined online as “a widely held but unjustified belief in supernatural causation leading to certain consequences of an action or event, or a practice based on such a belief.” It is thinking that if I just do the right thing in the right way God, fortune, the universe, whatever, will give me certain results. This week examine your life and ask if there are things that are more about superstition than faith.

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