John 3: 1-7
Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews.2He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” 3Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” 4Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” 5Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. 6What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ – NRSV
I don’t remember my baptism. I think there is one picture of me (second child) in the amazing gown my mother made. My sister and my three children were also baptized in the gown. I do remember my confirmation in sixth grade. My mother made another beautiful dress. Clearly it was a special day to be celebrated.
For so many years my baptism was something to do. It was not until I was 35-years-old, searching for a greater purpose in life that I was knocked to my knees, face-to-face with God. This was a huge conversion for me, revelation, rebirth, born again…whatever you want to call it. Now what I experience is a daily conversion, bits and pieces of revelation about my true self and about God. The Calvinist in me recognizes a foundation of Calvin’s theology: the more we know about self, the more we know about God. It is a journey of relationship.
As I contemplate the Gospel of John today, I must consider what my baptism means to me, being born of Water and Spirit. What I recognize in this invitation is the journey to a deeper relationship with God.
Baptism is the beginning of a journey.
The water must move to stay healthy.
The water must be stirred and splashed.
A static puddle will evaporate.
As you contemplate your baptism this Lenten season, may you stir and splash the water. Believe God is at work in the questions and the gaps. Allow the stirring and the splashing to transform your relationship with God.