I am again writing the “Back Page”. This will be the back page for the bulletin at Fishkill UMC for this Sunday’s bulletin (January 13, 2018, The Baptism of the Lord, Year C).
The role of water in our lives cannot be overplayed.
From the early days of the alchemists, it was seen that water was the universal solvent, able to dissolve just about anything and everything. Our search for life on other planets and in the universe is predicated on the existence of water. Without water, life on this planet would be improbable and non-existent.
And water is the singular mark of baptism.
Baptism is an act of repentance. John the Baptizer’s famous words to the Pharisees and Sadducees (“you brood of vipers”) remind us that even those who proclaim that they hold the power are subject to the cleansing waters of baptism. Our baptism reminds us that we have cast aside the secular world so that we could live in the Heavenly Kingdom.
Baptism is an act of unity. With the water poured over us during our baptism, we are united in one body with Christ. From the days Jesus began His ministry, baptism has been the unifying act. We are reminded that Samarians and Jews, long divided by tradition, became one through baptism.
Even today, when someone is baptized in the United Methodist Church, every member of the congregation renews the vows they made or where made from them when they were baptized.
I hope, trust, and pray that you will reflect on your own baptism and what that has meant to you throughout the years. We are given the chance today to, in part and in some way, renew our vows and walk with Jesus in the coming days.
~~ Tony Mitchell