Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Baptism by water

Tuesday in the Second Week of Lent

You sent a gracious rain, O God, upon your inheritance;
you refreshed the land when it was weary.
Psalm 68:9

I had not anticipated a flood.

As I lingered in the shower earlier, my thoughts had been of baptism and the power of water. I know that all water is recycled water; so whether it is the water I drink or cleanse with, or ocean waves rushing up onto the beach, or a gentle rain, the individual droplets (and in fact the H2O molecules themselves) have been around for a long time. Around the world in fact, participating in a perpetual cycle of precipitation, infiltration, evaporation. And baptism. Perhaps, I thought, this very drop on my skin this morning was poured on me at my baptism many years ago.

And then I emerged into the day to discover the hot water heater in the guest-house in which I am staying has failed and the water is rising.

I call my dear host and for the next 30 minutes we rescue items, shut off the water to the house, search for other various shut-off valves, call the plumber who can't come until tomorrow, remember to turn off the circuit breaker, sweep water toward a place it can drain, and laugh. Not necessary in that order.

Baptism into a life in Christ is all these things. Gentle, anticipated, ferocious, energizing, chaotic, unexpected, soothing, dangerous, refreshing, overwhelming, life-giving. And sometimes the Spirit compels us straight from our baptisms into the wilderness where we may encounter trials as well as an unforeseen flood of laughter and love.