Pastor Dave Wollan
“The Unnderappreciated, Misunderstood, and Powerful Gift of Baptism”
Gospel Text: Matthew 13:44-46
What Does This Mean?
- When were you baptized?
- How does the Lutheran understanding of baptism differ from the Catholic and other Protestant understandings?
- How do you “use” you baptism?
A Simple Way: Holy Baptism
Week 5 Devotional Questions for Discussion at Home
Adults: In the Small Catechism, Martin Luther emphasizes that it is God’s Word that makes Holy Baptism effective. Given that, why is it necessary to use water at all? What purpose do you think it serves?
Question for families with older children: Think about a Baptism you have seen, what parts do you think are the most important?
Question for families with younger children: From what you have seen before, what happens at a baptism? What is said during the baptism?
Adults: In the Large Catechism, Luther writes, “To be baptized in God’s name is to be baptized not by human beings but by God Himself.” How does that promise affect how you understand and value Holy Baptism?
Question for families with older children: What does it mean that we have been called God’s child through Baptism? What do we gain? What do we lose?
Question for families with younger children: What do you know about God? After answering that, how do you feel knowing that we are baptized by God?
Adults: Despite its simplicity and Jesus’ direct command to baptize in Matthew 28, Holy Baptism has caused endless disagreement among Christians. Why do you think that is? How does Luther’s answer to “How can water do such great things?” in the Small Catechism help to cut through all that conflict?
Question for families with older children: Why would water be such an important symbol for being Baptized? What does it represent?
Question for families with younger children: The water we use during a baptism is the same water we get from
Adults: The Small Catechism says Holy Baptism means dying to sin and being raised up by Christ to live forever every day. What does the language of dying and rising tell us about the significance of baptism? What does the need for it to happen daily tell us about the power and persistence of sin?
Question for families with older children: If I constantly sin, do I need to keep getting re-baptized?
Question for families with younger children: In our baptism, Jesus washes away all our sins. What do you do when you get messy, dirty sticky or muddy?
Adults: Baptism is often seen as an event which assures that we will go to heaven when we die. How does the Small Catechism show that the covenant of Holy Baptism is more a way of life that determines and shapes our identity throughout life?
Question for families with older children: What does a new identity in Christ look like?
Question for families with younger children: Jesus changes our hearts. What do people do who are happy and kind?