One moment we're a saint. We're glad to be called, "Child of God." We celebrate, praise, and thank Savior Jesus. The next moment, we're swallowed by the Leviathan of self-destruction and hopelessness. "Which one is the real me," we wonder. We know, but we don't want to admit it. The child is fragile and vulnerable. The Leviathan of sin is massive and horrifically relentless.

We hope for the resurrection, even as we bury a brother or sister. We weep and mourn, but not for the dead. We are terrified to know that death eventually comes for all of us. Another funeral is just another reminder that we can't escape the Leviathan of death. It erupts out of the watery abyss, gets hold of us, and drags us down into silence and darkness.

But, we pray for life to continue. We beg our Father for strength to stand until we can't get up anymore. We boast about Jesus' faithful, loving, kindness to us. Then, before an 'amen' can be spoken, we secretly pray for our enemies to be destroyed. We hope that failure, hurt, and death would be visited upon them. If they are maimed or killed, it is what they deserve. Maybe if Leviathan devours them, it will leave us alone for another day.

That is always the satanic temptation. If we pray in earnest, maybe our Father will let loose the Leviathans of sin and death to carry out his judgment on our enemies.

One moment, we pray for our rescue from sin and death. The next moment, we beg our Father to do unto others what we hope he will never do to us. We become the same as our enemies. We become grotesque, twisted parodies of God's children. We become smaller, weaker versions of the monstrous Leviathans of sin and death.

This is what it means to be a Christian. When we are baptized, we are named by our Father in heaven. We are now "little sinner" and "little Christ." We see in fact that we are sinners, and believe that we are righteous for Jesus' sake. We are twisted parodies of God's children and at the same time, on account of our baptism into Christ, God's beloved children.

We laugh and loathe, grin and curse. We sacrifice everything for the family, but would not offer our neighbor a glass of water even if his throat was on fire. We yearn for a place to call "home," but avoid joining brothers and sisters to celebrate Savior Jesus' victory over sin and death, and encourage each other as we receive all our Father's gifts. We are reborn in baptism, yet devote the time given to us by God to annihilate ourselves. We pray for one more shot at this life, then move to kill any chance our adversaries may have to enjoy eternal life.

This is the dichotomy of our baptized life. We try to escape the Leviathans of sin and death by throwing ourselves into their maws. So then, what will hold us back? What will cut off the escape routes by which we seek to annihilate ourselves? How is it that we are not devoured by the Leviathans of sin and death?

As the Psalmist writes, it is because, even though we feel ourselves slipping into self-destruction and hopelessness, "I am continually with You; You hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward, You will receive me to glory." (Psalm 73:23-24)

For this reason alone, we are always near God. Now, because of Him, when Leviathan comes, we scream in its face: "The Lord God is my refuge! Come closer, so that I can tell you about all His works, how He defeated you with His own suffering and death... So kill me if you must. My God will simply raise me up again."