Monday, January 05, 2009

Mark 1:4-11

Epiphany 1 – Year B

Mark 1:4-11

Baptism is one of those words that comes freighted with layers of meaning. There are questions of style and consequence.

Baptism is simply a response to a recognition of being off-kilter. Whether called sin or misgiving, whatever comes after its acknowledgement is our baptism. It may be a baptism into further delusion so we have deniability of any wrong or a baptism into some degree of repentance or life-change.

Baptism is simply a repeatable action of daily cleansing. Such a mikvah affirms conscious and unconscious, intentional or unintentional, missteps on a daily journey and anticipates some grander baptism that would be once-for-all.

Baptism is simply an assurance that one is marked by L*VE or L*FE and as L*FE and L*VE. (Enjoy the difference between voiced and unvoiced labiodental fricatives and know the difference is subtle enough that you can freely translate between them and be understood.)

Baptism is simply not simple. The Wikipedia article is representative of the divergences of baptismal traditions. If you were to confound your particular baptismal tradition, what one question would you ask?

Regardless of your preferred baptismal ritual, may you live and love out of an assurance of being loved into life.

For those interested in a more orthodox presentation are welcome to attend to several additional sites:
United Methodist Overview
United Methodist In Depth
Overview of traditions from Religious Tolerance
Or – use your favorite search engine: "(your tradition here) baptism"

For those interested in a disconnect with baptism:
The Godfather: Baptism and Murder

1 comment:

  1. This is my preaching text for Sunday. I want to keep this reflection nearby as I write! Thank you.


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