Christian, remember your dignity, and now that you share in God’s own nature, do not return by sin to your former base condition. Bear in mind who is your head and of whose body you are a member. Do not forget that you have been rescued from the power of darkness and brought into the light of God’s kingdom. — Christmas Homily of St. Leo the Great (Christian Prayer, p. 1956)
1 Corinthians 6:9-20
All Christians Who Have Been Baptized – by Paul Gerhardt
“You were before your day of birth,
Indeed from your conception,
Condemned and lost with all the earth,
None good, without exception
For like our parents’ flesh and blood,
Turned inward from the highest good,
You constantly denied Him.
But all of that was washed away–
Immersed and drowned forever
The water of your Baptism day
Restored again whatever
Old Adam and his sin destroyed
And all our sinful self employed
According to our nature.
In Baptism we now put on Christ–
Our sin is fully covered
With all that He once sacrificed
And freely for us suffered.
For here the flood of His own blood
Now makes us holy, right and good
Before our heav’nly Father.
O Christian, firmly hold this gift
And give God thanks forever!
It gives the power to uplift
In all that you endeavor.
When nothing else revives your soul,
Your Baptism stands and makes you whole
And then in death completes you.
So use it well! You are made new–
In Christ a new creation!
As faithful Christians, live and do
Within your own vocation,
Until that day when you possess
His glorious robe of righteousness
Bestowed on you forever!” Amen.