Church, Grounded

Make A Mess

This post is part of a series reflecting on Groundedthe new book by Diana Butler Bass. Read the other posts in the series here.

Again with this quote:

As we pay attention to rivers and seas, we might also discover God’s fluid presence with the water.

When I baptize people I make a mess. The chancel floor is wet even before any water has been lifted from the font, because I pour it in from as high a height as my right arm will allow. It cascades down and tumbles out. The front pew sitters should wear raincoats.

You can hear it, you can see it, and you know it’s water.

The baptized–infant and adult alike–end up dripping, because I want the water to be the story. I’m no respecter of baptismal garments. I’m not innovating with language, and I’m not inflecting my speech for earnestness or drama.

Hear the water. Watch the water. Feel the water.

This is what I’ve learned in church: you don’t need an ocean or a river to get hit with the presence of God in water.

A baptism in an ocean or a river, though? That’s something I want to do once before I’m done. Until then, I make rivers on the chancel.




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