Baptism

 


Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”  Luke 3:21-22

What is the first image that flows into your imagination when you think of water?

Swimming in the ocean or splashing in a pool.

A drink of water after a morning walk.

Washing your hands…which we are all now experts.

Cooking or cleaning or running the water over grounds for the perfect cup of coffee.

We know that water is necessary of life – for all creation.  Right now, my grass is not as vibrant green because we are not getting as much rain.  Likewise, after working hard, I can feel worn down until that first gulp of water.  Our lives are hydropowered.  And Scripture is hydropowered.  From Genesis 1 where God surfs and sings to the watery chaos to here where Jesus wades in the water for baptism to Revelation where there is a stream that waters two trees of life. 

The story of Jesus’ baptism is a reminder that in our baptism we are claimed as God’s beloved and called to let our light shine.  This is often where people will talk about “purpose” – finding your one true place and why you are here on earth.  My response to that is…you have more than just one purpose.  It isn’t just about finding the one “thing” and doing that.  Such a search for that one spark of your soul can be like finding a needle in a haystack.  Rather, what if the purpose is to be fully alive in every moment?  That is one of the messages in the recent movie, Soul, which I highly recommend.  In that movie, one of the characters shares a great story:

“Excuse me,” said an ocean fish.  “You are older than I, so can you tell me where to find this thing they call the ocean?”  “The ocean,” said the older fish, “is the thing you are in now.” “Oh, this? But this is water. What I’m seeking is the ocean,” said the disappointed fish as he swam away to search elsewhere.

We are in the ocean.  We are swimming and surrounded by the sacred.  Like the young fish above, I don’t notice it.  If I see the beauty of a cloud…hear the rhythmic splashing sound of my pool…the birds singing…my dog brushing up against my leg for attention…this delicious cup of coffee.  All that is in this one moment, to notice and enjoy and participate in the holy now of this present moment, that is one of the promises of being drenched in the grace of baptism.

Prayer: Soak and saturate my soul, O God, to be awake to You every minute today.  Amen.


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