It’s all about mercy. The kindness and generosity of God our Savor appeared in Jesus. By the sacrifice of our High Priest, our sins are forgiven. By the proclamation of our anointed Prophet through the church — the dispenser of His underserved love – we come to faith and are transferred into the Kingdom of Light where our risen King rules. It is all about mercy. As Luther says, Christ mercifully, “sinks and sticks Himself in to the water” as though He were any ordinary sinner, so when we go into the water we may pull Him out with us. We see in the account of Jesus’ Baptism that the heavens are mercifully “torn open” (Mark 1:10 NIV) and the Father speaks. Luther states: “Heaven which before was closed, is opened by Christ’s baptism and a window and door now stand open for us to see through. No longer is there a barrier between God and us, since God himself descends at the Jordan. The Father lets His voice be heard, the Son sanctifies baptism with His body, and the Holy Spirit descends in the form of a dove.” In this life we find sin, death, and misery. In Baptism we find God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as the Triune God of mercy, life, and love, and we find that, mercifully, “heaven is nothing but windows and doors.”*

*Matthew Harrison, Christ Have Mercy, (St. Louis, Concordia, 2008) 3