Late this afternoon a chilly rain pelted the windows of the house, backed up by a brisk wind. Usually I enjoy the rain, but today was the day to put all the special items of trash out on the curb, those too large for the regular pickup. These include items such as couches, mattress toppers, etc.
Seems we can never predict every occasion for rain. Like the Spirit of God, it appears when it is needed, or in other opinions, when it is least expected. But someone, somewhere is always welcoming the rain. It’s hard to miss the significance of the image of water in the RCL readings this week. Jesus didn’t use the word as such, but it is easy to visualize the presence of the life-giving Spirit with commandments that are not burdensome, but welcome and life-sustaining.
Can we also see the tender buds and shoots of the spiritual fruit which grows by that same sustaining shower? John adds to the image with a story of birth, through water and blood. Any mother and father recognizes how accurate this description is. Water, blood and serious intention are all a part of the birth process. So too, we pray, is the love of a parent for their child. God’s love is a specific kind of love, far exceeding our expectations, especially when we fall below our own.
Baptism indicates to us a very special relationship between a child and their Heavenly Father. Peter demonstrated why the gift of the Spirit through the waters of baptism should never be withheld from those who seek to be associated with Christ in a death like His (under the water) and a life like His (new in the kingdom of God).
The ancient One, for whom seas roar, floods clap, and nature sings for joy is no less a participant in the life of baby Christians as in the life of the seasoned servants. All told, we might wonder at the significance of God’s gift of the Spirit, present in both water, wine and whatever form bread may take as our host.
Let’s continue to marvel at these gifts we share, over which we preside, blessed as we are to serve others in this way. Let your mind traipse along the lines of Scripture this week, and may you remember your baptism, your conversion, your call to serve so vividly and joyfully. You include others in your joy and let it spill over, flowing down to those who are still on the fence about faith.
Lori Broschat is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, soon to be taking a step away from traditional parish ministry to do some emotional healing. She lives and serves in her hometown church, where she is fortunate to have most of her immediate family also present. She also has her daughter and grandsons just a few blocks away. She is a graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary and began in ministry in 1997. You can watch her preach on Facebook at First UMC Devils Lake @1stUMCdl
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