Anyone who’s ever been to Sea World recognizes the title. After all, when a two-ton orca splashes out of a tank, the laws of physics require displacing some serious water. Likewise when it comes to baptism, a few humble drops of water carry some awesome spiritual power.
Baptism — the ritual act of sprinkling with, pouring on or immersing in water — is a lot like sitting in one of the first five rows at the aquatic park. There’s some water, but we don’t always appreciate the whole idea of what’s going on.
Like many Christians, I don’t remember being baptized. I was about six months old when it happened in a Presbyterian church in Pittsburgh, PA. (No, I won’t tell you what year it occurred). There are a couple of black and white photos of my parents and me all dressed up for church to document the day I was baptized. Somewhere in the same album is the document that my late mother said was even more important than my birth certificate — my certificate of baptism.
Many Protestant Christians who aren’t Baptists have similar stories (and right there is a rift that will take many posts to explain). That’s unfortunate, because baptism is one of the most powerful things that happens to anyone who follows Jesus. Unlike Catholic and Orthodox Christians, Protestants don’t make a fuss over baptism, so its full significance passes by unnoticed.
So here’s my deal: This blog will be devoted to exploring baptism in multiple dimensions: what it is, how it’s done, what it means, and most of all, how Christians ought to be inspired and energized by their baptism to be about God’s work of transforming in the world. In fact, our baptism ought to make us capable of seeking and seeing God at work in life through acts of kindness, courage, caring and comfort, and to shout that good news into the din of mayhem and madness that swirl about us.
Yes, we’re about to mount the log flume over the foaming waves. Get ready for a wild, wacky and wonderful ride of “living wet” as a follower of Jesus.