In the comments section from Wednesday's post, we ended up talking about making the sign of the cross. Rev. McCain reminded us of Luther's exhortation to make the sign of the cross each day when we pray. Here's a little tidbit from A. C. Piepkorn that builds on Luther's instruction in the Small Catechism:
[Speaking of reminding ourselves of our Baptism, and in a way better than using holy water:] ...we have a far better way of reminding ourselves suggested in our Small Catechism. The head of the family is directed to instruct the members of his household to bless themselves morning and evening after this fashion; "In the morning when you get up, and in the evening when you retire, you shall bless yourself with the Sign of the Holy Cross and say, 'In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.' Then, kneeling or standing, repeat the Creed and the Lord's Prayer; if you wish, you may also say the little prayer, I Thank Thee." Let me call attention to the relation between this brief office and the Sacrament of Holy Baptism. The blessing with the sign of the holy cross corresponds to the signing with the holy cross at Baptism with the formula: "Receive the sign of the holy cross, both upon the forehead and upon the breast, in token that thou hast been redeemed by Christ the Crucified." The invocation, "In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost," reminds us that we are baptized into that name. The Apostles' Creed has always been the ancient baptismal symbol, as the Nicene Creed has been the ancient Eucharistic confession, and its use is designed to remind us of Holy Baptism's divine gift of faith. The "Our Father" recalls that in order to implore the blessing of Almighty God upon us, the minister laid his hands upon our head and bade the congregation pray with him the Paternoster with special intention for our eternal salvation. If thus at morning's dawn we consecrate ourselves anew to God and at nightfall plead again the perfect sacrifice of Christ, into whose death we have been baptized and into whose new divine life we have been engrafted, Baptism will mean more to us than a rite and we shall experience the constant power of the new birth's sanctifying operation ("The Lutheran Church--A Sacramental Church, in The Church: Selected Writings of Arthur Carl Piepkorn, p. 81).Wow! All of that connected to one little gesture of making the sign of the cross! What a treasure to maintain and actually practice!