A Good Baptismal Wash!

Reading time: two minutes.

It’s water season.  Life-giving water season.  April showers bring May flowers.  (By the way, do you know what May flowers bring?)  The rivers and streams are full in most places this time of year.  No sprinklers necessary quite yet.

Let’s walk through the Lutheran Wellness Wheel with water analogies in mind.  I hope these next eight reflections will give you another handle to use to assess your wellness.  Let’s begin with Baptismal Wellbeing, and a good wash!

Baptism, from the Greek word, baptismos, means “baptism” according to my dictionary.  If you dig one level deeper, a second definition is given: “wash.”   What a gift Dr. Luther gave us when he reminded us that the forgiving, renewing grace of God given at baptism is our daily, moment by moment life-giving treasure.  Like water bubbling down a stream, that refreshing flood is never more than a moment away.

Many make a daily shower part of their routine.  “Daily” is a great word to remember in connection with our baptism.  “Daily contrition and repentance” is a cleansing shower of God’s grace, a fresh start to any day any time of day.

When I head off the beaten track and drive through the mud, I need a wash.  My fault.  I know better.  I wander.  I get lost.  Stuck in the mud of my sinful, wandering nature, I call out, Lord, have mercy.”  Baptism is the guarantee that He does.  Forgiven.  Cleansed.  Begin again.

Sometimes I am traveling down the right path and I get blindsided by the worst that life throws my way: a dust storm, a downpour, a muddy drenching from a passing truck and I’m a mess again.

I’m not left alone in my misery over what comes my way.  My baptism guarantees the presence and blessing of God’s Holy Spirit and all of His good gifts.  Discouraged, messed up, set back, knocked down, thrown sideways, I’m invited by my Father to pause, sigh, laugh at my condition under the cross as I remember glory to come, and call for the Spirit’s renewal.

“Fill me, Lord.  I need Your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Mayflower

gentleness and self-control.”  This fruit, my heritage, washes the mess of this day away.  I start again.

Something will happen today.  It might be you wandering off the path.  It might be one of life’s messy storms.  Splat.  Mud.  Filth.  Then comes baptism’s washing, cleansing new beginning.  “Thank You, Lord!”

(By the way, Mayflowers bring Pilgrims.)

Thanks for reading.

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