Preparing for Worship – Ashley Robinson, pastoral resident.
If I had to guess, I would estimate that I have been baptized no less than 50 times in my life. Growing up as a pastor’s kid, playing baptism was one of the favorite pastimes in our household. My brother and I often baptized our stuffed animals, or if they were very unlucky, our live animals. Baby dolls and Barbies didn’t escape my young baptismal zealotry. Most swimming pools flip-flopped between staging grounds for Marco Polo and baptism services of cousins and neighborhood kids.
Then, of course, there was the baptism where I stood in the baptistery of my beloved church as my father baptized me. There has been much light-hearted debate as to which one of these baptisms “took,” which one really counted. I’ll leave those debates at the dinner tables and the bar stools. What strikes me is that each one of these baptisms, even the playful ones, required something of me. Each baptism required that I get in the water. I had to remember to hold my breath — that one was sometimes tricky. I had to be ready for something, even if I wasn’t sure what that something was.
This Sunday, we recognize in worship the Baptism of the Lord Sunday. We recognize the step that Jesus took to get into the water, to come nearer to us. Some of you might remember your own baptism. Some of you might be wondering what baptism might be like for you one day. Wherever you are in your journey, baptism requires getting into the water and being ready for something. Today, as you prepare for worship, you might take a few deep cleansing breaths.
Consider ways you can draw nearer to God, even outside the ritual of baptism. Ask yourself, what are you ready for today?