Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Water in the Desert

I had an interesting experience at church this weekend. I've been meaning to write about it since, but never quite got around to it.

First, there was a baptism this weekend. I don't know if the rite they used is the "official" Lutheran rite (is there an official Lutheran rite? I would think so since they consider baptism a sacrament), but it was really beautiful. I loved the prayers that were used, and at the end, the pastor took the baby and literally presented him to the whole congregation. I mean, he walked around the whole church with him. I thought that was the coolest thing I have ever seen.

The second thing was that I had a revelation about desert imagery in Scripture. The pastor mentioned in his sermon that the desert wasteland was frequently used in the Old Testament, and even by modern writers, to symbolize separation from God. As I thought about that, I realized that in the New Testament, as well as in the very early church (the desert fathers, for example), the desert was where people went to find God. I thought about why the difference, and I realized that the difference was Jesus. Jesus bridged that separation between God and humanity by becoming incarnate. He is the water in the desert that enables a seeker to endure the sometimes long and difficult search for God.

I feel like I should have known that all along, but it was an "ah ha" moment, nonetheless.

The final thing is that I didn't leave the church like I was a conflict fleeing captivity this week. I didn't linger, either, but I wasn't on the verge of a panic attack.

Progress, I suppose. I don't know what it all means, but there you go.

No comments: