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This Sunday we will begin a four-week series on the Sacraments: Baptism and the Lord's Supper. In today's reading from Acts we hear about all the gifts we receive in Baptism and get a glimpse of the life of the baptized in the early church. Baptism is the anchor point of our lives and the way God acts to claim us.

Typically, we tend to forget about our baptism and treat it as "life insurance." In other words, we only need it when we die. But baptism is so much more. It grounds our lives, gives us our identity, and calls us into ministry. The day you were baptized changed your whole life.

Blessings as you ponder the Scripture Between Sundays,

Pastor Gary A. Bunge

St Stephen Lutheran Church

Sunday's Scripture Reading - Baptism

Psalm 46

1 God is our refuge and strength,

a very present help in trouble.

2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,

though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;

3 though its waters roar and foam,

though the mountains tremble with its tumult. Selah

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,

the holy habitation of the Most High.

5 God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;

God will help it when the morning dawns.

6 The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;

he utters his voice, the earth melts.

7 The LORD of hosts is with us;

the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

8 Come, behold the works of the LORD;

see what desolations he has brought on the earth.

9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;

he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear;

he burns the shields with fire.

10 "Be still, and know that I am God!

I am exalted among the nations,

I am exalted in the earth."

11 The LORD of hosts is with us;

the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

Acts 2:37-42

37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, "Brothers, what should we do?" 38 Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him." 40 And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation." 41 So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added. 42 They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

For This Week

Questions for Reflection

-What does your baptism mean to you?

-How is your life different because you've been baptized?

Daily Readings

Monday, August 7, Ephesians 5:25-29, The Christian Household

Tuesday, August 8, Ephesians 5:30-33, The Christian Household

Wednesday, August 9, Ephesians 6:1-4, Children and Parent

Thursday, August 10, Ephesians 6:5-9, Slaves and Masters

Friday, August 11, Ephesians 6:21-22, Closing

Saturday, August 12, Ephesians 6:23-24, Blessing

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