Passing through waters
Water is a blessing; and a necessity. Without it we could not survive, life could not exist. We come into this world in a rush of water wherein we become a part of a loving family. Once in the world we are washed and cleansed regularly in water to protect us from infections, and to feel the loving care and respect of new life. In some families we are even taken to our places of worship where we are washed again in a font of water to reenact our birth into a larger family, the church. We are with water incorporated into that family, and God is told our name.
Isaiah tells us what God says, “Do not fear ... I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you ... For I am the Lord your God... Do not fear for I am with you.” This is a reassurance we can depend upon.
In the Christian setting Baptism has been very important. Some bring the infants to church for that purpose early on in their new life. Others wait until later in life when an individual is old enough to make the choice of Baptism of their own volition. But in most Christian bodies Baptism cements the relationship to Christ and the Church.
In the very early church the Apostles learned that the word of God had been accepted in Samaria, and they sent Peter and John to them. The people there had been baptized, and Peter and John laid hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit, confirming their belief in Jesus and His message.
All of that was to proclaim to the Samarians what was done before to Jesus. John had been baptizing the people in the waters of the Jordan, in preparation of the coming of Jesus into their world. Many thought John might be the predicted Messiah. When questioned, John told them, “I Baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I, is coming; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit ...”
When Jesus was then baptized by John in the waters of the Jordan River and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in the form of a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my son, my beloved; with you I am well pleased.” This verbal acknowledgement told those in witness of the bond between God and his Son. It is of no difference in the churches today. When we are baptized with water, we believe God know us, and we are his forever. Amen.
The Rev. George O. Martin is an Ordained Deacon at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 17th and Adams, Great Bend. Send email to email@example.com.