Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Baptism of Our Lord

Artist: James Tissot

Here's one of the most arresting statements on baptism I've ever come across:

Baptism is not a bath, but a funeral bier. If it was a bath, you would need it again and again. But since it is a death and new life, it is a once for all picture of the transformation that has taken place in our lives. Baptism is not about your goodness; it's about God's Grace.

-- Dr. Mickey Anders

But here's another one that is equally powerful:

One evening the New Testament professor from Princeton Seminary visited a high school youth group. After the professor finished speaking about the significance of Christ's baptism as a revelation of God's presence in Jesus, the high schooler said without looking up, "That ain't what it means."

Glad that the student had been listening enough to disagree, the professor asked, "What do you think it means?"

"The story says that the heavens were opened, right?"


"The heavens were opened and the Spirit of God came down, right?"

"That's right."

The boy finally looked up and leaned forward, saying, "It means that God is on the loose in the world. And it is dangerous."

After his baptism, Jesus went into the wilderness, and it was dangerous. Jesus taught in the temples, and it was dangerous. Jesus healed on the Sabbath, and it was dangerous. Jesus confronted the authorities and turned over the tables, and it was dangerous.

-- Daniel D. Chambers

My goodness. God is on the loose in the world. Let's think about that.


  1. Hi Ellie,

    This reminds me of the bit in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe where the beaver tells a nervous Susan that Aslan's not safe, but he is good...


  2. Oh, yes, Damian. What a great connection you've made here.

    That is actually my favorite quote ever from the L,W&W. Has been for a long time.


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