United Church of Christ

Diving Deep

"God ….who watches over you neither slumbers nor sleeps." - Psalm 12:4

T.S. Eliot wrote that we are "Distracted from distraction by distraction." We daily lose whatever focus we had. We attend the small matters, not the larger ones. Missing cell phone? Lost keys again? We love the idea of a God who neither slumbers nor sleeps—and rarely slumber or sleep ourselves. It is God's job to tend eternity and ours to swim in it for our short term of consciousness. Why do God's job? Plus, your cell phone is in your purse and your keys are in your pocket.

Baptism comes to mind. Perhaps you were baptized by a sprinkle. But it represents the deep water. It was a physical reminder of a spiritual reality: you belong fundamentally to God.

Tutored by my own distractions, I have realized that it takes a whole, deep, not shallow, life to become a Christian. Knowing I am baptized means I was marked for Jesus. We may mark our precious child with water and then forget to keep hosing them down. Baptism is the ferocious search for a life-giving community in which to raise a child. It means knowing the child doesn't belong to us but to God. It means knowing we want the child so well-anchored that he or she can sprout wings. It means "dedicating" the baby, or yourself, to a Godly, spirited, Jesus-led life.

Hesitate or forget to remember your own baptism? Or to baptize a child? There is no better time to plant a tree than yesterday. The God who neither slumbers nor sleeps is still waiting to focus you. Dive deep into the waters and meaning of baptism. As you arise, you will be able to float there and focus there.

Prayer

Save us from the daily distractions, O God, for the deep waters of a baptized life. Amen.

ddauthordonnaschaper.jpgAbout the Author
Donna Schaper is Senior Minister at Judson Memorial Church in New York City. Her most recent book is I Heart Frances: Letters to the Pope from an Unlikely Admirer.

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