Drinking the Baptismal Water
After our most recent infant baptism, someone asked me if I’d ever baptized a baby that would not stop screaming. I thought for a moment and honestly couldn’t remember a time that a baby screamed the whole time, even though there were plenty who had unhappy moments. However, the question did bring back to me a memorable baptism with a different kind of unexpected noise.
The little boy I was baptizing was three years old and known by the congregation to be talkative and animated. Many a children’s sermon took scenic routes when he raised his hand to answer a question. I expected him to have a lot to say but was surprised when he said, quietly at first, “I wanna drink the water.”
I remember his parents trying (unsuccessfully) to shush him, and he got louder: “I wanna drink the water!” I kept on going with the liturgy, asking them the appropriate questions, trying not to make eye contact (unsuccessfully) with my three-year-old friend. By the time his dad picked him up for me to place the water on his head full of hair, he was screaming, “NO, NOT ON MY HEAD! I WANNA DRINK THE WATER!” I was joyfully laughing with the congregation, even though his dear parents were not.
That little brother of the faith had a revelation many of us overlook: he knew this water was special, he was thirsty, and he needed a drink of what could satisfy him. I fully believe that God was chuckling that day when a little child tried to lead us in it means to long for the Living Water.
In John 7:37, Jesus famously calls out, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me.” Why are we so hesitant to admit when we are thirsty, in need of what only God can give to us? We go searching for other wells to quench our thirsts, when the true Wellspring is ever available to us.
This week, let us remember our baptism and celebrate that the Living Water that cleanses us is also available for us to drink every time we cry out to him. Do you wanna drink this living water, too?
all good things to each of you,