Psalm 118 (Morning)
Psalm 145 (Evening)
Recently some friends of mine and I were together, and I’m sure you know how this goes–One says something, another makes a clever comeback, and suddenly it’s just one hilarious remark after another until everyone’s abdomen aches from the belly-laughing. When we all catch our breath, someone says, “There must be something in the water.”
Well, our Epistle reminds us that there’s something in the waters of baptism, too.
Today’s reading from 1 Peter brings up that old bugaboo of fear and uncertainty. The reality is that no matter how convinced we are that we are God’s beloved sons and daughters, we still encounter uncertainty in life, and there are always times that we never know if we are doing the right thing, or making the right decision. We encounter situations where we know deep in our hearts we did nothing wrong, but things are simply not turning out well.
Our tendency is to second guess (that old “woulda, shoulda, coulda” trip around the barn–maybe even several trips around the barn) and often, the tendency of others is to tell us just how we messed it up. But really, until time passes, we don’t know how it’s going to turn out. We only know we did the best we could at the time we did it.
When we are maligned or our reputation suffers, it’s incredibly painful. Yet it’s the exact time we need to remember that there’s something in the water–namely that Christ joined us in baptism and mingled in that water is the pain of Christ’s own sufferings when he walked this Earth. Whatever we’re feeling, we at least can take comfort that Jesus “gets it.”
Suffering, however, isn’t the only thing in that water. Christ’s saving grace and healing power is in there, too. The purpose of baptism isn’t to remove our crud or make the crud of life go away–it’s to join each of us to Christ and to one another, and there’s power in that knowledge, as well as comfort, grace, and blessing.
When is a time in your life that your Baptismal Covenant reminded you that you were not alone in your suffering or uncertainty?
Maria Evans, a surgical pathologist from Kirksville, MO, is a grateful member of Trinity Episcopal Church and a postulant to the priesthood in the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri. She occasionally finds time to write about the obscurities of life, medicine, faith, and the Episcopal Church on her blog, Kirkepiscatoid.