Thought of the Day February 1, 2019 Plunge into the river of grace.

By 10:37 AM

Plunge into the river of grace.

“We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4)
Scripture often uses water as a symbol for spiritual refreshment. The Psalmist says “my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where no water is found” (Ps 63:1 RSV). The Lord wants to quench our spiritual thirst with his presence: “He turns a desert into pools of water, a parched land into springs of water” (Ps 107:35 RSV). Water serves as a powerful metaphor because it is so necessary to human life: It refreshes the thirsty. It cleans the dirty. It gives life to plants and animals. It restores the world every spring. It causes crops to grow ready for harvest.
Water also conveys newness—the waters of creation and re-creation. Water covers the earth at the beginning and it brings about physical and spiritual cleansing. It makes things new again. Ancient Jews would bathe in pure water in a mikveh in order to become ritually pure to enter Temple worship. This purifying ritual lies in the background in the ministry of John the Baptist, where he baptizes people as a sign of repentance. Finally, in Christian baptism, all of the water metaphors of the Old Testament are brought together. Jesus purifies the water of Baptism by his death and resurrection and through the sacrament of Baptism, cleanses us from the disease and dirt of sin, so that we might experience a spiritual springtime in him. In Baptism, we pass through the Red Sea like the Israelites (1 Cor 10:2), we are healed from the leprosy of sin like Naaman (2 Kgs 5:14), we come to life like the desert in Ezekiel’s vision. 

Reflect on what baptism means to you. (To be continued)

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