God Is in the Waters
“This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” – Matthew 3:17 (NRSV)
I was talking to someone the other day who expressed their discomfort with immersion baptism. “Why does it look like they’re drowning?” she asked. I explained that it’s … because they are. There’s an ending symbolized in the ritual.
But the gift of baptism and of the resurrection it promises is this: There will always be a new beginning. There is no such thing as an end. Death does not win. The grave has no victory.
And God is in the waters, cooling things down. Bringing the matter from flame-hot to cool-enough to hold tenderly. God is in the cooling, the cleansing, the moment that we arise from holding our breath.
God is in the first step we take when we can safely leave the house unmasked.
God is in the first embrace when we can safely give our at-risk elders who have missed us so much.
God is in the waters, and God is in all these moments of healing. Because that’s what baptism is all about.
My child schooled me about this recently, by the way. She is eager for her own baptism. And my husband asked her, “Well, what does baptism mean to you?” She answered, “It’s like you get to take a shower all day long, forever.” (As you can imagine, she loves showers.)
God is in the shower.
God is in the waters.
God is in the cleansing.
God is in the fresh start.
And while that incendiary blaze of evil tries to set you off your course and burn the wrong things down, just remember:
God is in the water saying, “Chill. Be calm.”
We are yours, God. Amen.
Kaji Douša is the Senior Pastor of The Park Avenue Christian Church, a congregation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ, in New York City.