She’d been reading about baptism, but the topic was deeply personal. Long ago she’d buried an infant son—without the sacrament. Things had started going wrong the minute he was born. The family had called their pastor and the hospital chaplain, but they came too late.
What happens to people who die without baptism?
Martin Luther himself confronted this question as he responded to an anguished request from a woman who’d lost her infant in childbirth. Because he died without baptism, was the child consigned to the fires of hell?
Luther responded with pastoral compassion and theological depth. God shared her sorrow, he wrote, and the child was baptized by the tears of his parents.
What if we could extend this faith to all the children of God, claimed and unclaimed, baptized and unbaptized? Resting on the faith of the family, Christians should say that we are all children of God.
This message was adapted from “Consolations of Baptism” written by Martha E. Stortz that first appeared in the June 2008 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine.
If you are reading “Daily Grace” online, sign up to receive it by email daily.