Clean. Pure. Sacred.
Water, a symbol of new.
Our hearts, no matter how young, dirty with old bearing the weight of choices as old as humanity. Sweat dripping from brow returning to the dust from which it once came living under a heaviness blurred into the background of life. No matter how hard we try, how much we drink or the great lengths we go, it is never enough. An unquenchable something. We work for satisfaction believing it to be found in what we can get for ourselves. It’s crafty in deflecting. Sin. It chooses us before we reach for it and know of it. It yearns in the wailing of a babe mixed in with innocence laced right into desire. Each of us born into a world not of our choosing affected by sin shaping. Hearts dimmed before they are even tried and tested.
Dimmed. Dirty. Damned.
We all are. Some no longer.
Redemption eclipsing, an invite to new. Welcome home.
Water baptism is very important to me and adherence to the faith I cling to. I remember myself young nervous to be pushed into the water. We stood in a pool. Just days prior, I swam and played in those waters thinking nothing of God or sin or wrong. Everything right in the moment lost in play and the pool. But standing that day beside the pastor and witnessed by faithful onlookers, there I waited to be ‘dunked’. He said some words that I’ll never recall but I remember them to be affectionate. My hand held my nose shut. And into the water I went. Only mere seconds under the surface led me home. Walking out of the pool to clapping and cheering that for whatever reason I understood. Dripping water, I belonged. Not to the church or to a man or teaching. Something discovered me. Redemption with a plan stretched much farther than day or age or understanding. I’ll think fondly of that pool forever.
From Eden crumbled and a garden of peace and common dwelling with God hidden, one man’s choosing of sin then draped over all of humanity to come. Even more historied than man’s choosing is God’s. His of us. Jesus came that we might live. He came so that she would live. And so into these waters stirring ancient, belonging to prophecy, made alive by the shed blood of Christ she disappeared only to resurface clean, new, redefined.
Two weeks ago in conversation, Emily decided to be water baptized. She asked me. That’s how I knew it was time. So much of parenting is leading them in the right way to the point that wherever they are, the opportunity to choose is clearly presented to them. If I do their choosing, they will never develop strong in choosing correctly. Our talks lead us through her understanding the significance of water baptism: an outward expression of the faith growing in her heart.
I had the greatest privilege of baptizing her myself. No sweeter moment shared between us than holding her in the water, praying with her, looking into her understanding eyes and then pushing her into the water of her choosing to surface discovered and decided.
The priest is not made. He must be born a priest; must inherit his office. I refer to the new birth—the birth of water and the Spirit. Thus all Christians must became priests, children of God and co-heirs with Christ the Most High Priest.
- Martin Luther