Thursday, January 04, 2007

Jesus' Baptism - C3

Years C
Acts 8:14-17

They had only been born. They had only been born Samaritan. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. This is all we know.

Somewhere along the way that is not enough. It seems nothing is ever enough when it comes to measuring up to someone else's experience they consider normative for everyone - right now. No process or stage of a process is enough. Not even being at a stage a measurer will come to is enough as the measurerer isn’t yet there to measure it.

At any rate, a Holy Spirit was deemed necessary. How fortunate that Peter and John were confirmed in their experience by others seemingly, finally, measuring up to it.

We still make up rules and regulations about effective baptism and its deeper meaning when that is not measurable. I can't help but wonder what Jesus would have said about what additional was needed for a baptism in his name to be a baptism in his name. I can't help but wonder how surprised he was to find a dove diving at him as he shakes water from his eyes.

Might a needed Holy Spirit simply be a sense of belovedness, regardless of style or language of baptism? And is that enough, or not?

= = = = = = =


unto Samaria and the ends of this earth
we go before there is any evidence
that going will redound glory to us

we identify greatest need and focus there
even if it is only our greatest need projected
we impose meaning wherever we pray

twisting arms and patting backs
we handle the reins of reigning understanding
that we might drive rather than be driven

indeed we handle if not always gently
indeed we pray if not always wisely
indeed we go if not always happily

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