Upwardly Dependent » walking the delicate balance of absolute truth and overwhelming grace.

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On Baby Baths and Baptism

My daughter takes baths in our kitchen sink.

Call me old fashioned, but we only have a shower in our apartment and $40 for a baby bathtub at the moment just seems silly. Plus, there’s a fantastic rain-head option on the sink faucet, so it’s basically like Eliza gets a fancy spa experience every few days when it’s time to bathe.

We cover her head in a sudsy lather and let her splash and play. We scrub between her fingers and toes. We clean behind her ears and in her belly button.

Everything gets washed—and the clean baby booty that comes out of that bath is just about the sweetest thing I can imagine.

There’s something about a baby covered in soapy bubbles that seems so perfect.

Babies are beautifully innocent…without a spot of sin or greed or hatefulness. Stick them in the bathtub and they’re clean inside and out. Ahhh, be still my heart.

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I sat staring at this photo this morning, wondering what it was that God wanted to teach me. Those perfectly round eyes on a perfectly innocent face with a perfectly clean body.

What do you want me to notice here, Lord?

He took me back to a woman named Jade.

My family visits a home each Wednesday where women are recovering from drug and alcohol addictions. We are so blessed by these women who allow us to be a part of their lives.

Yesterday was no exception.

Jade, a new resident in the home, was bubbling with questions when we arrived. She was trying desperately to grasp the complexity of One God and Three Parts. Father, Son, Holy Spirit…all very different but all very much the same.

I wanted to soak up everything she was spilling out. Her desire to know more. Her aching for redemption. There’s nothing that fills my soul more than to watch a person come to know the God that can save her from herself.

Jade talked about how she had never know much about God. She wasn’t taught the Bible. She didn’t understand concepts that seemed so basic.

But she wanted him to take over her life.

I sat and prayed to God yesterday: Lord, I’m not good enough. I don’t know how to do this. But I want to fall in love with you. I don’t want to run to another man. I don’t want to worry about my family. I just want you. I want to know you and trust you. I want to fall in love with you over and over and over. I don’t want to live for myself anymore.

I couldn’t write a more beautiful and honest confession if I tried. It felt like God’s presence filled that room with such a mighty rush of peace and protection, Jade must have felt it too.

Another woman spoke up.

You know, when I was in my addiction, I wasn’t really living. I thought I was, but I was really dead. I was existing, but I wasn’t really LIVING.

So we talked about baptism. Isn’t this what Romans 6 is all about?

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united with him in death like this, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin.

Baptism isn’t about joining a church. It’s not about checking off a list or even simply making a statement of obedience.

Baptism is about God’s power to resurrect us from our sin and death, making us a new creation that has been set free.

I used to think the power was in the water. It was in the particular act of getting wet.

I was baptized in a swimming pool at a church camp. With enough chemicals to kill 6-year-old bodily fluids and change the color of your swimsuit, I can guarantee that there was nothing holy about that water.

Sure, there are parts of my baptism that involved confession and my obedience to a command.

But now I understand baptism is about God’s ability to resurrect. He takes a dead person and gives him life. The power lies with HIM—not in my righteous deed.

He used His Son as the perfect illustration: A lifeless body, stuck in a tomb, raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, that we might also have newness of life.

Baptism makes us like that perfect little baby coming out of a clean bath. We’re new. We’re clean. And we’re perfect in His sight.

Thank you, Lord, for teaching me again how your faultless design of our salvation leads us back to worship the Messiah who lost His life that we might LIVE. 

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I would love to hear about of your baptism! Dialogue with me about this life-changing experience of receiving the ultimate grace…I live for your stories!

Comments

comments

AprilFebruary 6, 2014 - 4:58 pm

Yes, yes yes! This is what I’ve always understood because of the “church” I was raised in and belong to, which by the way is Christ’s church and nothing else. I was baptized on a Wed. night in the baptistry by my friend’s Dad because I was very shy but I comfortable around him. He later became and still is an elder at my church. One of my best friends decided to come forward to when she heard I was planning to be baptized. So that was special that we shared ours. I so appreciate the reminder of how the baptism is an act of faith on our part and salvation on God’s part that is all made possible because of Jesus!

Lisa EdmondsonMay 1, 2014 - 1:52 am

I love your writing, to be honest in most of your blogs I cry, not because they are sad but they are raw, truth, honest, moving and make me re-evaluate my life and what I am doing every day. I thank you. I don’t know you in person but feel I know you through your words.