Touché June 23, 2017
Posted on June 23, 2017 by under Touché,

Water is Thicker than Blood

“As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.  There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:27-29)

Hilary, my daughter, is on her way to the hospital as I write this.  I will soon be on my way to San Diego to see our first grandchild. Before I do, we will gather at the creek for baptisms on Sunday.  I will baptize Ariana Snagg in the sanctuary, then Kayla, Lorna and Riley Baldwin in the creek.  As I introduce those kids to the church I will say: “in this place water is thicker than blood.”  This is a reminder that our deepest bonds in life are our bonds through Christ to each other. This Sunday as I long to see my grandchild I will find that hard to believe.  My connection to “Baby J”, as we are calling this yet unborn child, feels stronger than anything.

I explained to Kayla, Lorna and Riley they get a new last name on Sunday.  It is “Christian.”  All who are baptized share that name and are part of one family.  We have not talked about baptism yet for “Baby J,” but s/he too will share the name Christian ahead of the name Jarratt.  While I recognize my connection with my grandchild will be strong, I also recognize baptism invites us to see our connections as the family of God as foundational.  Paul in Galatians says baptism breaks down all divisions that society defines.  We are one in Christ Jesus.  In the world and in the church, where our divisions are so magnified and good fodder for fighting, the church is called to look differently at each other.

I wonder if this Sunday I can see through the eyes of Christ the kids baptized with water at HRC with the depth of love I will see when I land in San Diego and look into the eyes of a child of my blood.  That seems impossible, but the hope for the church and the world is to look in love in the same way.  This is not an invitation to diminish my love for my grandchild, but instead to elevate the look of love we have for each other.

In His Love,