“The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptised, you will be baptised” Mark 10:39
Our Lent introduction ended with questions about what helps when experiencing thresholds in faith and life…
What metaphor or question may we inhabit? What way or request may we follow?
The ‘good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God’, writes Mark, begins with baptism. Baptism in (or with) water and in (or with) promised fire and the Holy Spirit.
Jesus’s baptism is clearly a momentous occasion for him, signalling some change and climaxing with the charged and emotive words ‘you are my Son, whom I love’. I wonder how much his baptism allows him to move from one explicit identity and into another. How might the physical ritual, this spiritual act, have enabled him or propelled him to transition well?
I suspect that we are born for fresh starts, again and again. Some natural coming and going, some challenge, some dawning awareness. Fresh starts which clear away what ever crud has accumulated, whatever has weighed us down or distracted us. I suspect that physical practices and metaphors, such as visceral and imaginative baptism, can help us move through our inner and outer worlds, with their shifts and currents.
I am struck anew that repentence (another portal) is the invitation to think again and so begin afresh. Using both words together in one phrase ‘baptism of repentence’ appears to be making a big double statement about the flexibility and suppleness that are necessary in and for faith and life.
A threshold is a place of coming and going. A threshold is a frontier that challenges us to cross over or return. At a frontier we have to declare our identity. We may choose not to venture further and instead return home; or we may cross over on to a new awareness, a new dimension of reality.
Inner journey, outer journey, James Roose-Evans, Priest and Theatre Director
PS They say Don’t despise the day of small beginnings - maybe its just don’t despise beginnings, maybe it’s let’s not be afraid of starting afresh, or be surprised by its re-occurrence.