It’s Time…the Water Is Ready

What is it about water?
The Book we read is literally swimming in it.
The waters of chaos,
out of which the Lord God creates.
Waters flooding the earth,
to wash it clean from the evil wrought by humankind.

Rebekah watering the camels of a traveling servant,
leading to the foundation of the people of Israel.
River water as the salvation for the baby-in-the-ark,
the one who grew up to become 
the bearer of the rod,
the rod that brought water to its feet 
in the parting of the Sea of Reeds,
and brought water from the rock
for a thirsty, complaining people.
The Promised Land, 
a place fed by streams and 
pools and springs abundant.
The Jordan River –
the headwaters into which the people of Israel
carry the Ark of the Covenant,
and stack the stones of remembrance.
The Jordan –
through which and by which the 
Baptizer offers his call to repentance
and shouts out the promise of One Who Is to Come.
The Jordan –
into which steps Jesus, the Messiah,
submitting himself to the same waters of repentance
as every other respondent to John’s call.
The Baptism of Our Lord –
one of the layered meanings and celebrations 
marked with the name Epiphany:
The light dawns,
the promise is fulfilled,
God comes to the help of God’s people.

Descending under the flow,
rising up through the surface,
glistening in the afternoon sun,
shaking the drops from hair and beard,
gasping for air, arms outstretched,
the Savior, our Immanuel, hears a voice
and the dove descends.
It is time.
No trumpets, no angels, no drum roll.
A simple walk from the shore to the river.
And the mission is launched.

What does Jesus hear as he steps out of the crowd,
out of obscurity,
out of preparation time
into the arena, ready for the main event?
What does he hear?

And what do we need to hear as well?

Three things – three things as vitally important
as the water itself to the life he – and we – are to lead:
He hears who he is.
He hears he is loved.
He hears he is pleasing.

Because of Jesus, we also have:
a new identity;
a powerful and life-changing relationship of love;
a deep-seated knowledge that
God is pleased with us,
before we do one single thing.

Do we get that??
God is pleased with us.
Because of Jesus.

And it is in the water,
the waters of our own baptism,
that we know these things to be true.


Simple. Ordinary.
Tangible. Irreplaceable.
And absolutely vital.
 The Living Water calls us to reflect who he is,
he calls us to be life, 
to share live, 
to live life
as if Jesus himself is the well.
Oh, how deeply can I draw from this Well as 2012 unfolds?
How widely can I spray this essence of life around me?
What time is it for me?
What time  is it for you?

I am indebted to Pastor Don Johnson and the worship team at Montecito Covenant Church for most of the ideas contained in this reflection and most particularly for the beauty of a worship service in which we are given the precious opportunity to renew our baptismal vows. Swishing our hands in the waters of the font, singing, “All Who Are Thirsty,” every New Year, we remember again WHO WE ARE. Thanks be to God.
Joining with lots of friends today as I’ve been away from this blog for over a week, traveling to get my mom moved and then re-settling at home with a too-full calendar. So tonight, I’m fixin’ to join with Michelle, Jen, Emily (if she’s open for business again), Ann, Jennifer & Bonnie. Each of these lovely sites has great writing going on – check them out.

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  1. Ah…the fountain from Laity Lodge! I’m thinking,too, this year about all the water that flows through Scripture. I want to focus this year on its abundance.

  2. What a beautiful tradition your church celebrates each new year.

    Thinking of it undoes me.

    Your explanation of the significance for us, today, of God’s words at Christ’s baptism is beautiful. I needed it.

    Welcome back, Diana.

  3. That second photo–is that the Frio?

    And there’s that business about Moses striking the rock.

    You always give so much to think about, Diana. Going swimming with you this year.

  4. Never have I thought about water more than when we were in our drought. I love your reflections.

  5. thanks for stopping by with such kind words of encouragement, everyone. And yes, Sandy, the bottom 3 photos are from LL, 2 and 4 of the Frio.

    when I did a Bible Gateway search, I got 617 references to ‘water.’ Many of them refer to the same incident(s), so it probably drops down closer to 450-500, but still…that’s a lot of wet, right?

  6. some nice thoughts on the water….and what a cool tradition at your church as well…

  7. Oh my word this is gorgeous and peaceful and rejuvinating, all wrapped into a beautiful post. And those photos, oh my! Thank you for this, Diana – so much peace breathed into my soul here today.

  8. Such beautiful thoughts on water.

    And I recognized your Laity pics. It reminds me that once I saw a baptism there, below the dam, where you walk from the Lodge over to the road to Blue Hole. It was a holy moment.

  9. I love the theme of your post – and the photos!

    Thanks for the thought that in Jesus, God is already pleased with us — just the way we are1

  10. I love those three things … lessons we all need to remember.


  11. i feel refreshed having come here, and being reminded of who i am in him. thank you friend.

  12. Just read the passage in Mark this morning about Jesus being baptized so it was such a blessing to read your post. Thank you : )

  13. Ah … those photos! They make me homesick for Laity. Loved this whoe thing — how it flowed across the Old and New Testament to encompass the fullness of God’s story (our story!) in the Scriptures.