All Who Believe and Are Baptized (ELW 442, Verse 2)
2 With one accord, O God, we pray,
grant us your Holy Spirit;
help us in our infirmity
through Jesus’ blood and merit;
grant us to grow in grace each day
by holy baptism, that we may
eternal life inherit.
After the water had been splashed, God’s word of promise spoken, and the baptismal party were returning to their seats, the congregation would join in singing the second verse of this baptismal hymn. In this way, the “they” of the first stanza is replaced by the “we” of the second as all of us recall our baptisms and ask God to “grant us to grow in grace.” Somehow as a boy in the pew—as of course the hymn intended!— I too knew—knew!—that God had made the same promise to me that he was making in my presence that morning. That knowledge echoes the confident words of First John and of Psalm 1 earlier this week: that the joy of the believer is to know the promise of eternal life, and the true happiness of the believer is to continue to delight in the word and promise of God and to bear good fruit as we are able.
God of grace, you have called and claimed us, and you have allowed us to witness as you call and claim others. Use us as you will to serve others and glorify you. Amen.