March 4 1 Peter 3:18-22
A long, long time ago, in a land far away, Noah built an ark, which was God’s salvation for Noah and seven other people (and a whole bunch of animals). It passed through the flood waters to safety.
Peter, in this passage, proclaims our salvation – that Jesus died, a just substitution for our unjust lives, in order to bring us safely to God. This is our hope, our joy! We cannot save ourselves, yet this hope carries us, even when we feel we cannot even lift our faces to heaven. When God calls us, He saves us through the work of Jesus Christ!
I was baptized as a child in a small Baptist church in Texas, after talking over what that faith decision meant with my parents and my pastor. Dressed in a long white robe, I stepped into the baptistery at the front of the church. I remember holding my nose as the preacher said “in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost” then submerged me in the water. After a moment, my head broke the water, the congregation cheered and we all prayed. In that holy moment, I had stepped into the ark of Christ in a powerfully symbolic act of being set apart for Him.
But that act of baptism was only the beginning of my faith journey. Martin Luther once said, “You are saved by faith alone, but if faith is alone it is not faith.” In choosing to accept Jesus’ sacrifice for our lives, we also choose to begin a radical, defiant adventure filled with strange things like baptism, love for others, holiness, and the intentional pursuit of justice and peace. Let’s take some time today to thank God for His ark of salvation, and to pledge to live defiantly for Him.
Thank you, God, for your once-and-for-all gift of salvation. Help me to live today as one who has been saved and is being saved as your Spirit continues to transform my life.