“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”
In baptism, we experience and partake in something extraordinary.
It is the belief and practise of a Church to baptise, to dunk, to plunge people into water, whilst promises are made.
Extraordinary yes! Weird? Certainly.
What makes rational adults choose to do such a brazenly embarrassing thing? In front of their friends and family too! In front of witnesses!
Not only is Easter Day the high point of the Christian calendar, but Baptism is the high point of human experience.
It is no accident that without water there can be no life.
It is not a qwerk of creation that water is the key to life.
It is not by accident that Jesus links Himself with Living Water (Jn 7:24).
So what does this all mean? We have all heard of baptism before, some have been done themselves; some have seen many baptisms and others have only seen and heard what the TV or the papers have said.
Christianity is about water; It is about Baptism. Most of our lives we try to order and control ourselves. We try to look good, stay dry; as our English proverb goes, we try to ‘keep our heads above water.’
This wonderful painting is by Christina Ramos over at christinaramosart.com
Most of us love stories. I was read to as a child. When my dad was on shore leave from the Navy we had a gluttony of stories (mostly the classic fairy stories, but it was because dad was reading that it became an event)!
Stories are scripts! They can be about anything, teaching us profound truth or just sheer drama for sheer drama’s sake. And when heard enough times, they can become a script that shapes how we view the world (To this day I don’t eat green beans because of Jack and the Beanstalk.)
Theatres have scripts. The script shapes the play, in contour, flow, character development and dialogue, each actor playing their part! It is the controlling element in the play. It was Shakespeare who said, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” So a stage has a script and we are all beholden to that script!
And everyone on the planet has a script. We have our own personal script, and we all partake in group-scripts, like the golf club, social club or the church. Each group, each church also has a script. The reason why I’ve chosen the text (or script if you prefer) in Rom 12:1-2 is because the Bible, the Gospel, insists that our scripts need to change. The classic Gospel call to “repent and believe”, is an invitation to change the script, the script of the Old Adam to the script of the New Adam, which is Christ Jesus. Continue reading
“Christianity is about water: ‘Everyone who thirsteth, come ye to the waters.’ It’s about baptism, for God’s sake. It’s about full immersion, about falling into something elemental and wet. Most of what we do in worldly life is geared toward staying dry, looking good, not going under. But in baptism, in lakes and rain and tanks and fonts, you agree to do something that’s a little sloppy because at the same time it’s also holy, and absurd. It’s about surrender, giving in to all those things we can’t control; it’s a willingness to let go of balance and decorum and get drenched.”
Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies, p.231
Christina Ramos Art http://www.christinaramosart.com/