Downed by Love
We have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13).
One of my deep joys as a pastor has been to baptize both of my sons. I have a picture taken just before I went into the baptismal pool with one of my boys. I’m crouched down, eye-to-eye. I don’t remember what I was saying, but I remember the tears. God was pouring grace on my son, and my church was welcoming him into its fold.
Baptism is a visceral, physical moment. It contains mysteries, for sure, but God intends for grace to be tangible—something experienced. Baptism provides a moment when we encounter the love of Christ, and we remember that Jesus went to a cross and into a grave for us. As we emerge from the water, we remember that He rose from the grave victorious. God has joined us to Jesus, and we are truly alive.
To be baptized offers another physical reality, however. It joins us not only to Jesus but also to His church. Baptism expresses our personal decision, but it does much more. In baptism, God’s grace surrounds us; and in baptism, God joins us to the new creation community that the Scripture speaks of as the body of Christ—the church (1 Corinthians 12:12).
Paul told the Corinthians that through the work of God’s Spirit they were being made into a new kind of community, a new way of living, a new way of being human. Where once there had been Jews and Gentiles, slaves and free, they were now known as God’s people and Jesus’ body (1 Corinthians 12:13).
Baptism tells the story of individual lives set free through Jesus’ work, but it also tells the story of new communities of grace and truth coming to life through that work. Our prayer is that the whole world—and every community—would be drowned in the love of God.
Read Romans 6:1-14. What does baptism do for us? What story does baptism tell?
Where do you need to allow the grace and love of God to “drown” you? How can we help create communities by living out the calling of our baptism?