Jan 4, 2012

Implants or Tattoos?

A few years ago, I read about a new plan concerning animal identification.  As a result of  “Mad Cow” disease and other kinds of sticky animal maladies, a governmental entity proposes that each individual animal have some sort of identification.

The suggested legislation states that “All animals . . . transported, purchased, or sold, in commerce, by a dealer or exhibitor shall be marked or identified at such time and in such humane manner as the Secretary [of agriculture] may prescribe.” Whether by implants or by tattooed numbers on the upper lips, the proposal suggests the identification of every farm animal for tracking.

This next week, as we think about the Baptism of the Lord Sunday, I find this idea of marking an interesting one. Baptism does many things for us believers. First, it reminds us of the second century theologian Tertullian’s remark that “Christians are made, not born.”

Second, we know that baptism tells us who we are as the people of God. 

Third, baptism does for Christians what animal identification does for animals—it marks us as people who belong to God. Baptism is a kind of a divine signature on our lives that identifies us as the people of God. Thus, this week as we prepare for worship may we “remember our baptism and be thankful.”

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