Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. (Romans 6:4-5)
Joined to Jesus, we go nowhere without the promise of God’s presence in our lives. This is the promise made to us in our baptism. That Jesus died for us and in baptism the old us dies with him. We are “united with him.” No promise in life can mean more than the promise that God has committed to always be with us in all things and in all places.
It is easy to take that for granted. In fact, the Apostle Paul knew the risk of knowing this. To promise us that God would love us no matter what also meant risking that without the fear of losing God’s love, we might not care much about what we do. After all, does it matter in the big picture what we do, if no matter what, God will still love us?
Paul wants us to know that it matters a lot. It matters, not because God’s love is dependent on it. But it matters because God wants our love back and God wants us to want to please God. In fact, our response is to be the true desire to bring joy to God and carry out God’s will and work in the world.
Paul calls this side of our baptism, “newness of life.” How can we who have died with Christ be raised to the same old us? We are a new creation in Christ. Do our lives reflect the old us or do they reflect the new us of the baptized people of God?
Our baptismal covenant is a call to join God in the work of loving the world. It is a call to discipleship and transformation and the kind of new life that only Christ can bring.