Coming from Florida, one of the things I loved to do was head to the beach and just sit there. It was hard to do when I had the girls with me, but it was still possible. I went back for 10 days in December (2021) for an amazing opportunity to take rocket launch photos at night, which are my favorite kind, and spend 5 of those days taking beach sunrise photos. It allowed me to sit, be still, and listen to the waves crash. When was the last time you went to the beach? Were you distracted by all of the things going on, or did you sit still and listen to the waves? If you sat there, what did you notice? Was there a rhythm to the ocean? Despite the crashing, was there a peace to it?
I appreciate the idea of resting and listening to the rhythm of the ocean, but I have toddlers, so it’s more difficult… but there are times when we are done playing and just sit there with the water and I remember my baptism. I remember that a pastor used simple tap water and the promise and words of Jesus, washing my sins away and God claiming me as His child. With this water, it created a daily rhythm.
When we look at our day as a baptized and beloved child of God, we know that baptism indicates that the Old Adam in us (our sinful nature) should by daily repentance be drowned and die with all sins and evil desires, and that a new man should daily emerge and arise to live before God in righteousness and purity forever. Every day we are made new. Every day, we are reminded that God loves us, and Luther even expresses this rhythm in his Morning and Evening Prayers.
Morning Prayer: “I thank you my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray that You would keep me this day also from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may please You. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.
Evening Prayer: I thank You, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have graciously kept me this day; and I pray that You would forgive me all my sins where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen!
Notice the pattern? When we begin the day, we pray as a new person where our sinful nature has been drowned, and we celebrate our baptismal identity with the hope that all of our actions and life may please God. This is a fantastic goal to have, and whenever we pray this, we’re asking to be kept from sin and every evil. In the evening, we acknowledge that we have sinned, and ask for forgiveness for everything we have done that is against the will of God.
The best news about this rhythm is that we have our identity in Christ, and that we can celebrate this identity every time we see water and remember our baptism. Be encouraged that we are saved, we are forgiven, and that we are baptized and beloved children of God. Have a great day!
Director of NexGen Ministries