There is one body and one Spirit . . . one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all.
The Pulitzer Prize winning novel Gilead tells the story of John Ames, a Congregational minister. Writing a series of reflections to pass along to his young son, he says, “When I was in seminary, I used to go sometimes to watch the Baptists down at the river. It was something to see the preacher lifting the one who was being baptized up out of the water and the water pouring off the garments and the hair. It did look like a birth or a resurrection. For us the water just heightens the touch of the pastor’s hand on the sweet bones of the head, sort of like making an electrical connection. I’ve always loved to baptize people, though I have sometimes wished there were more shimmer and splash involved in the way we go about it.”
Ames goes on to say that he didn’t become a minister for the usual reasons. He chose the profession because it gave him the opportunity to confer blessing.
In real life, baptism always involves a kind of blessing. So does living it. And Christians of every kind and type and denomination share this blessing together. There aren’t really Baptist and Lutheran and Presbyterian and Catholic and Orthodox baptisms. There is only one. We are united together in Christ.
Have you come to know the blessings of “one Lord, one faith, one baptism”?
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, wrap up all our differences in your eternal dance of oneness, and teach us to delight in you. In Jesus, Amen.
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