1 Peter 3:18–22 (NRSV)
Verse 18For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, Verse 19in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, Verse 20who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water.
Verse 21And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves younot as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Verse 22who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.
1 Peter 3 offers a powerful reminder of the power of baptism, which is not simply the removal of a smudge or two from the body, but a participation in the sin-forgiving, death-conquering, life-giving power of Jesus’ resurrection. In this season of the year, take time to consider your baptism. Remember that it is God’s saving power at work in your life, placing you in right relationship with God in heaven. But in the same way that Jesus’ life and ministry resulted in suffering, so will yours. Every Christian travels the rough and chaotic waters of life in the ark of baptism, tossed about by waves large and small, but ultimately assured that the God of heaven will ultimately bring us to a good
Heavenly Father, thank you for sealing us with baptism. Help us trust in your kindness, even as we sway uneasily on life’s chaotic waves. Amen.