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Topics - Mark_Hofman

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Your Turn / Floor Committee Weekend – Off on the Right Foot
« on: May 27, 2016, 04:37:03 PM »
A few of us are at the International Center, where preparations for Floor Committee Weekend are complete and the servants appointed for this duty are arriving.  Today got off to a great start.

It is the last day of the school year for my only child, who comes to the end first grade. I chose to go to our Lutheran school’s final chapel service this morning, to give thanks to God for the blessings of having a great Lutheran school for our son to attend, staffed by some pretty amazing Christian teachers.

Another reason for going was Blake, a classmate of my son.  During the year, young Blake heard the Gospel and studied Bible stories. He sang songs and hymns and spiritual songs in chapel.  He talked about Jesus with his friends and his teacher. At some point during this past year, the Holy Spirit moved Blake to ask that he be baptized.  He chose the last day of school so his friends could be there.

Our pastor spent time with Blake and his grandmother talking about baptism and faith and Jesus, preparing him for The Big Day.
This morning, Pastor called young Blake to the font in front of the school’s entire student body, including the eighth grade class who had graduated the night before.  He read Scripture and asked Blake the important questions:

What is your name?  “Blake.”

Blake, do you renounce the devil?  “Yes, I renounce him.”

Do you renounce all his works? “Yes, I renounce them.”

Do you renounce all his ways?  “Yes, I renounce them.”

Blake, do you believe in God the Father Almighty… in Jesus Christ, His only Son…in the Holy Spir-   “Yes, yes! YES!!!!” (a bit of laughter in the congregation)

(Pastor, smiles, and continues) …Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints…the life everlasting? “Yes, I believe.”

Blake, do YOU desire to be baptized? (Emphatically) “Yes! I do!!!”

That boy had the biggest smile on his face as he stepped up onto a stool and leaned over the font to receive a miracle gift from God, the gift of a promise to be HIS child, on the last day of being a first-grader.

Nearly every adult present had tears in their eyes, me included.  His classmates gave him high fives as he returned to his seat among them.  Last night, as we were going through bedtime routine and prayers, I asked my son if he had any special prayers he wanted to say, not expecting this as the request: “Dear Jesus, please keep my friend Blake in the faith and always learning about you every day.  Amen.”

Amen, indeed.

My LCMS friends, the messy and sometimes distressing work of Synod acting in Convention is upon us. We have our warts and our divisions. Let us ever be mindful of our purpose, to bring the Good News of Jesus to people all around the world and right here in our own back yard.  It actually DOES bring people – even six-year-old boys – into the family of God.  And that one person coming to the font, I believe, makes it all worthwhile.

Blake will be on my mind this entire Floor Committee Weekend, and got it off to a great start.

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