All Who Believe and Are Baptized (ELW 442, Verse 1)
1 All who believe and are baptized
shall see the Lord’s salvation;
baptized into the death of Christ,
they are a new creation;
through Christ’s redemption they will stand
among the glorious heav’nly band
of ev’ry tribe and nation.
This hymn is a favorite that I remember from my childhood. With liturgical regularity, every time there was a baptism at St. Anthony Park Lutheran Church, the congregation sang stanza one as the baptismal party gathered at the font. “All who believe and are baptized… of every tribe and nation.” I suspect that this hymn, which I memorized almost accidentally from the repeated singing, shaped my understanding of baptism and belonging to God in Christ more than my seminary studies and my later parish ministry combined. To be baptized is to be called and claimed by the Triune God and joined to the great body of the believers, both those who have gone before and those who surround us in our daily walk of faith. Through baptism, gathered from all the world, amidst neighbors of every tribe, nation and faith, all believers in Jesus know who they are and whose they are.
God of grace, you have called us your own and given us the faith to believe. Grant that we might know and live in this amazing gift. Amen.