Daily Reflection: Plunged through Water| Galatians 3:26-27
And so, you see, you are all God’s sons and daughters through your simple trusting faith in the faithful doing and dying of Jesus Christ, because you all share the same birth experience: plunged through water in baptism into a dynamic walk with Christ, then totally wrapping yourself up in him. Galatians 3:26-27 |MAV
“That’s not the issue Delmar. Even if that did put you square with the Lord, the State of Mississippi’s a little more hard-nosed. [laughs] Baptism! You two are just dumber than a bag of hammers!” It’s one of my favorite lines from O Brother Where Art Thou? Right up there with “Mrs. Hogwallop up and R-U-N-N-O-F-T.” Baptism doesn’t make much sense to us. Neither does Jesus. Especially Jesus plus nothing. So totally disarming. Nothing to boast about. No bragging rights. No achievements to parade. Just the faithful doing and dying of Jesus and our simple trust. Trust through which we ultimately lose ourselves in him so we can really find ourselves. And perhaps that’s why “baptism” retains its place as a culturally significant faith portal of sorts through which we find ourselves plunged into Jesus, overwhelmed with his mercies, deluged with the divine design, emerging wrapped up in him, clothed with Christ – even if Mississippi is a bit more hard-nosed and we only appear to be all wet, and, well, “dumber than a bag of hammers.” But as Jesus told the master of religion known as Nicodemus, it’s not a matter of hard work (though we will be pressed!), but only of being born. So Paul reminds the Galatians that it’s not the circumciser’s knife and all that entails, but rather the birth they had already experienced through their simple trust in Jesus’ work on their behalf. A trust captured, encapsulated in the plunging through baptism’s pool.
Where in your life are you still hunting for bragging rights? In what ways do you need to allow the effects of the new birth, of this plunging through water in baptism, to disarm you of your religious pretentions so you can be free to simply wear Jesus for all the world to see?
Jesus, overwhelm me anew with your mercies today; let me be deluged again with your divine designs for me. Let me not take on airs today – let me simply put on the garment of grace that is you. Amen.
During these next weeks we are processing Galatians 3-4, be making your way through Abraham’s story in Genesis 12-25. This week you might also tack on Exodus 19-24.
For all of this week’s resources on Galatians including this week’s DG video on Galatians, check out the Vineyard website.