“He (Jesus) said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:15-16.
During Lent, there are many parallels between Baptism and the Cross. The attached photo was taken in Les Cayes, Haiti in the fall of 2002. Pastor Israel Isidor was baptizing the first group of orphan girls who would occupy the Lutheran orphanage there. On that day, these sisters in Christ received the blessing Eternal life through the waters of Baptism and will one day be with their Savior whose blood was shed for them on the Cross of Calvary. We Lutheran’s in North America have a wonderful hymn titled “Come to Calvary’s holy mountain” which was written by James Montgomery in 1819; just a couple of decades after Haiti gained its independence from the French. The words are relevant for these Haitian girls and for us.
“Come to Calvary’s holy mountain, sinners, ruined by the fall; here a pure and healing fountain flows to you, to me, to all, in a full, perpetual tide, opened when our Savior died. Come in poverty and meanness, come defiled, without, within; from infection and uncleanness, from the leprosy of sin, wash your robes and make them white; ye shall walk with God in light. Come in sorrow and contrition, wounded, impotent, and blind; here the guilty free remission, here the troubled peace, may find. Health this fountain will restore; he that drinks shall thirst no more. He that drinks shall live forever; tis a soul renewing flood. God is faithful; God will never break His covenant of blood; signed when our Redeemer died, sealed when He was glorified.”
Pastor Isidor is today celebrating with Jesus Christ today as he enjoys his eternal home. The orphans in Les Cayes are enjoying a Trinity/HOPE meal every day they are in school, drawing closer to Christ. You and I continue to do what we can do to go and make disciples throughout this entire world, bringing Christ to the lost in our country and Haiti.
Dear Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.
May God be with you…Jay