On this stormy Friday morning it is only appropriate that I say a few more words about baptism. Many times when people are baptized as infants (and there is nothing wrong with that) they miss the importance and impact of baptism.
Following Jesus is full of mystery and meaning. This includes the ordinance of baptism. Most of the time we simply see it as a religious ritual.
Baptism (when done as an adult) is more a formal entry point into the mystery and meaning of becoming a part of the Body of Christ.
To enter the fullness of being a participating member of Christ's body, there is a milestone that changes the direction of life. By faith there is an action of allegiance.
When we are baptized we identify with Jesus in his death, burial, resurrection and ongoing work of the Kingdom of God.
At His baptism the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus in the form of a dove ... not an eagle (a symbol of Roman power and might). That Jesus was identified as God's beloved Son by a dove and not an eagle is very instructive, deeply subversive and absolutely beautiful.
Baptism becomes a portal out of this old broken world and into God's new creation, an escape from the kingdoms of empire, power, idolatry and injustice into the Kingdom of love.
All who follow Jesus through the waters of baptism pledge allegiance to his revolutionary Kingdom.