Monday, January 12, 2009

Jan 11, 2009 Sermon: Living Water/ Water Living

Stuff from Christian Century Article by Yamada:

“I am haunted by waters.” Last words of Norman Maclean’s novel, A River Runs through it.

Waters haunt all of us who profess the Christian faith. They haunt the human imagination. Rightly so, our bodies are made up of water. If we are prevented from drinking, we will die. If the land is prevented from drinking, we will die.

As some of you may remember, if the land goes without water, the wind can whip the dust into giant clouds of destruction and alter the lives of millions.

Water will play a central role in the coming decades or centuries. When it is said that fresh water will become a commodity like oil, available to a decreasing percentage of Earth’s population, and yet the seas are forecasted to rise and displace billions of people. Humans will have a dual relationship with water in the 21st century. We will desperately need it, and it will inundate us.

Water: metaphor in ancient literature for chaos, leviathan. Also a metaphor for the necessity of life. We are brought into this world through the water of a womb. God’s people come through the waters of the Red sea and the Jordan.

Remember playing with water table at Mid America Museum.
Visit to grand canyon.

Shaped by water metaphor with the grand canyon. Letting our life be eroded by God’s presence and activity. You can tell which stones have not been in the stream for very long. River stone is round and smooth. Foreign stone would be angled and rough.

Didache: what it is, what kind of advice it has about the baptismal waters. It should be flowing.
Perhaps this is one reason why—it reminds us that water is living, and the waters of baptism should be let loose on our lives.

The song we sang earlier has that one line that is so interesting: come Holy Spirit, aid us to keep the vows we make; this very day invade us, and every bondage break. Come give our lives direction, the gift we covet most: to share the resurrection that leads to Pentecost.

How do the waters of baptism “invade” us? They invade our lives. They invade our plans.

They have dual meaning to us as well. Paul speaks about “dying” in the waters of baptism. The act of immersion very illustarates this notion of drowning in the water. In a very real way, we do drown.

The waters of baptism drown that aspect of us that we have been deceived into believing: that we can make it on our own, or that we aren’t worth spit, or that we’re too lost and too far gone to ever come back.

Yes, baptism is s symbol of the death of those ideas about ourselves and the “putting on” of a new identity—that of a child of God.

Early Christians, take off clothes, go down into water, come out and put new clothing on and stomp on the old clothes.

Pouring water over our head—reminds us that the waters of baptism erode our souls. They shape us into the beautiful landmarks that God would have us be.

God making skipping stones

Scientists say the main reason we have life on earth is water.

God agrees.

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