Gather around the font.
So a happy New Year to all of you. This is our first church service of 2018. I hope you all had a good winter break, a happy New Years, and you had a few fun snow days this week. So since this is the first weekend of the New Year, a lot of us are thing about stuff that’s new – new things we want to try, new places we want to go, new things we want to learn, and more. And so I think it’s great that we, as a church, are going to do something sort of new today: at the 10:30 service, we are going to celebrate a baptism and welcome a new friend, publicly, into the Body of Christ, into a life of following Jesus.
And so that’s why we’re up here around our baptismal font. And inside of it, what do you see? A bowl with water in it. That’s right. Water. Now, let’s talk about the water. Feel free to touch it, maybe splash a bit. How does it feel? Wet. Cool. Like water. It feels pretty much like normal water, doesn’t it? It feels very ordinary. It’s the same kind of water you might get out of the taps at your home or at a store. Even though the water here at church comes from a well, water is just, well, water. Clean water is something that everyone needs to live well. If the water was bad, it might get us sick. But when it’s good, it’s something we need everyday so we can be healthy, keep growing, and keep learning. Water is necessary for us and it’s also, at the same, time very ordinary.
Yet it’s this ordinary thing that God uses to make a promise to each of us. God takes something very plain and almost boring, and unites God’s words to it. So how does god do that? Well, it’s through the power of words and breath. We hear in the Bible that God’s breathe moves over waters so go ahead, and together, take a deep breath and blow over the waters. Blooooowwww. When we speak God’s words, air leaves our body and moves into this water and this ordinary thing is united with God’s words, and it’s here where God promises come true to us. When we are baptized, God promises to love us. When we are baptized, God promises to be with us, no matter what. When we are baptized, Jesus makes a promise to be by our side no matter where we go. God makes a promise, through this water and through our baptisms, that we are never alone and that Jesus will always be near us.
God chooses to use ordinary things, the stuff of everyday lives, to show us how we much God loved us. God doesn’t decide to use something special like sparkling water, or water with bubbles in it, or water you can only find in one special place in the world. God uses ordinary water, everyday water, to say I love you.
And God truly does.
Thank you for being here and I hope you have a blessed week.
Each week, I share a reflection for all children of God. The written manuscript serves as a springboard for what I do. This is from Christ Lutheran Church’s Worship on Baptism of Jesus, 1/08/2018.