I'm driving around town nowadays with the new decal on my back window. (not the bumper, mind you, but the entire rear window). It's not just any decal. It's one that #1 identifies me and #2 implicates me. This adds an interesting new perspective to my driving...one that most of you that I share the road with will appreciate indirectly: I drive slower; I am more courteous; I tend to pay stricter attention to the volume of my radio whilst idling at stop lights. I keep my vehicle cleaner. I park more carefully and in places where more people may walk by and notice my nice new decal. I make sure that I have CE business cards handy in case anyone stops me and asks me questions about my decal. If my decal gets dirty or starts to peel off, I can take it back to the company that put it on and they will fix it. I like my decal and what it represents. In many ways, I take special pride & comfort in its extraordinary meaning no matter who jerks around me suddenly or smiles inquisitively.
Do you have a decal on your car? Maybe? Maybe not. If you were baptized, you do have decal. It is sealed onto your soul. It is a special decal, one that can only be "seen" by God. But your baptismal decal is vastly more important than a marketing scheme placed on a car to attract new viewership. Your decal identifies you to a common enemy and includes you as part of a family that is permanent and eternal. Your decal can get dirty from time to time and so we take it to the confessional and clean it off. Our CEO - Jesus, can make it new again. When cognizant of our decal, we tend to go a little slower, pause more frequently and use kindness and gentleness in our demeanor. We might even step out in faith and offer a defense of the hope that is within us! The grace of the "decal" changes us as long as we stay faithful to its promises.
I've seen some people who tell me they have baptismal decals but their "vehicle" freqently ends up double-parked or in ditches or hitched to the back of dirty tow trucks. On the other hand, I've seen some folks who never talk of their baptismal decals but the way they speak, think and act makes me suspect that they have a glorious skyscraper-sized decal that God is surely aware of and that people unwittingly love to be around.
If you don't have a decal yet, you can get one. It's not very difficult. The price is high however; it can cost you your worldly reputation. In some rare places and situations, it can even cost you your life. Contrary to popular british opinion, once you get your decal, you can't really give it back. Getting a decal on my car made me excruciatingly aware of the decal that is on my soul. My prayer is that someday I will be able to live up to my baptismal decal and what it all represents.
Today I would like to officially declare Baptismal Decal Awareness Day!