Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Invitation to death
It's been a long time since I've willingly waded in the waters of baptism. After a few years of attempting to separate out the voices of the herd and the voice of God while standing on the edge of the pool, I have come to the conclusion that the only way to authentically wrestle with the doubting Thomas that is woven into the fabric of my being is to dive in. I'm not sure what this means yet or what the result will be...I just know it's time.
I leave you with a few words from William Willimon as we enter into this season of Lent anew:
"The chief biblical analogy for baptism is not the water that washes but the flood that drowns. Discipleship is more than turning over a new leaf. It is more fitful and disorderly than gradual moral formation. Nothing less than daily, often painful, lifelong death will do. So Paul seems to know not whether to call what happened to him on the Damascus Road 'birth' or 'death' - it felt like both at the same time.
"In all this I hear the simple assertion that we must submit to change if we would be formed into this cruciform faith. We may come singing 'Just as I Am,' but we will not stay by being our same old selves. The needs of the world are too great, the suffering and pain too extensive, the lures of the world too seductive for us to begin to change the world unless we are changed, unless conversion of life and morals becomes our pattern. The status quo is too alluring. It is the air we breathe, the food we eat, the six-thirty news, our institutions, theologies, and politics. The only way we shall break its hold on us is to be transferred to another dominion, to be cut loose from our old certainties, to be thrust under the flood and then pulled forth fresh and newborn. Baptism takes us there."
(Photo: Baptism by Traer Scott)