09 September 2007
Water, grace, love
It's too late (in the day) to start this blog post, and I'm too tired. There's too much to say, and I won't be able to say it tonight. So I'll be brief. Today I was baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, by my dear friend, in the presence of my beloved community, including my beloved wife. Two other members of our community were baptized today as well. It was a joyful celebration of God's grace on a hot, sunny morning, and when we had shared the other major sacrament of the bread and the wine, the body and the blood, the service was brought to a close by many of us spontaneously jumping into the consecrated waters, fully clothed. :-) I find myself constantly amazed by how much I love these people. Thanks, God, for the unfathomable gift of each one of you, fellow Commoners.
I've been baptized before, as an infant. I've also been confirmed, and in 2003 I formally reaffirmed my (original) baptismal vows. I really want everyone to understand: I certainly don't want to minimize the beauty and value of any of these rites, whether in general or in my specific case. And I didn't have a long-standing plan to do this - in fact, the idea was first mentioned this past Tuesday, and only really became a sure thing on Friday. It was sort of a big surprise to everyone, including me. But in the back of my mind, I've wanted to do this for a long time.
I'm a sacramental kind of guy, and it just seems to me that this is the sacrament as experienced by everyone in the early church - heck, even Jesus himself: full-immersion, performed by someone deeply significant to one's spiritual formation, as a celebration of a free-will commitment of one's life to the way of God in Jesus. (Also, I'm in good company.) I can't begin to say how much this meant to me, to make that commitment, surrounded by my the love of my friends. To my friends and loved ones who couldn't be there (if only because I pretty much didn't tell anyone this was happening!), especially by family and my dear friends from my other beloved faith community - you were very much on my mind today, and with me in spirit as you have been along this journey that brought me to a suburban pool, listening to the symphony of gorgeous hymns and heartfelt words of faith combined with the drone of a neighbor's chainsaw, being dunked by my friend and vowing to keep walking this path with my Lord and with my friends. Amen, and amen, and thanks be to God.