Where Should the Baptismal Font Go?

You have heard me preach and teach that everything a church or Pastor does teaches. Many times we learn something that is unintended. For example, when I was on vicarage I guest preached at a church where the Pastor would always bow three times at the altar whether he was entering it or leaving it. He never specifically taught his congregation why he did this. He just did it. Maybe a few people asked “why?” along the way, but after thirty-five years the people “learned” that the proper way for a Pastor to enter or leave the sanctuary was to bow three times. They concluded from his actions that he bowed one time for each person of the Trinity. When I guest preached there, no one told me this. After the service, several people “corrected me” in the greeting line because I only bowed once. After thirty-five years, they had “learned” that anything other than bowing three times was wrong.

We may not realize it, but indeed everything a church or Pastor says or does teaches. We have to be careful always to understand the “why we do what we do.” Otherwise we, too, may “learn” something that if it is done any other way becomes “wrong” to us. In fact, the “why we do what we do” may be done “rightly” several different ways! That’s the point of this month’s Newsletter article.

You may have been to a church where the Baptismal Font is located in the back where people enter the nave. This may seem like a peculiar thing especially if you are used to it being located in the front of the church. Whether it is in the front or back of the Church, its location is teaching you something. What is it teaching you?

Neither way is wrong, but it’s important to know why it is where it is. Since I have been at Zion, the Baptismal Font has always been front and center. That’s a GREAT place for it to be! Since the Christian life is one of daily repentance and faith, having it front and center is a visual reminder of the gift of Baptism. It is a reminder that “the Old Adam in us should by daily contrition and faith be drowned and die with all sins and evil desires, and that a new man should daily emerge and arise to live before God in righteousness and purity forever” (Small Catechism, fourth part of Baptism). As we fix our eyes on Jesus and the cross on the altar, it is teaching us that as we come to the altar rails for Holy Communion or a blessing we first “pass by” the Font which first brought us into the family of Christ. Looking from the back of the Church, the Crucifix is visually “seated” on the Font, which is a wonderful reminder that “we were buried with Him through Baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:4).

During the season of Easter this year, you will notice the Font has been moved to the back of the Church. For seven weeks we will begin our worship service from the back, calling upon the same name of the Triune God that was called upon and present in our Baptisms. We will then confess our sins there at the Font and receive the same absolution (forgiveness) that was pronounced at our Baptisms once again. Then in the spirit of Easter we will process to the altar singing an Easter hymn and praising God who raised Jesus from the dead; who will likewise raise us to eternal life! Easter is always a season of celebration! With the Font placed at the back during the season of Easter, we confess our sins at the Font and leave them there trusting in the forgiveness Jesus earned when He nailed our sins to the cross and left them there! As the Pastor moves forward to the altar, we all turn and fix our eyes on the Risen Jesus, our most gracious Host of the High Feast of heaven! Easter is always looking forward to the Resurrection. And that’s what placing the Font at the back of the Church teaches!

Your Servant in Christ, Pastor Hromowyk

WORSHIP SCHEDULE

Sunday Worship Services - 8:00 A.M. and 10:30 A.M.

 

COMMUNION SCHEDULE
 

8:00 A.M. First and Third Sundays

10:30 A.M. Second and Fourth Sundays

Fifth Sunday, Both Services

COMMUNION STATEMENT
Special note to our visitors and guests: Because those who eat and drink our Lord’s body and blood unworthily do so to their great harm and because Holy Communion is a confession of the faith which is confessed at this altar, any who are not yet instructed, in doubt, or who hold a confession differing from that of this congregation and The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, are kindly asked to refrain from partaking of the Sacrament until first speaking with one of our Pastors.