It’s Week 3 and the school year is well under way. Are you smooth sailing or drowning?
We often use phrases like ‘drowning in work’, ‘can barely keep my head above water’, ‘treading water just to keep up’ or ‘it’s all we can do to stay afloat’.
This Sunday’s Gospel reading (Mark 1:9-15) tells of the baptism and temptation of Jesus, using the phrase “… Jesus came up out of the water…”
I had the amazing experience recently of floating in the Dead Sea. The buoyancy lifted me, held me up and made me feel weightless. Dead Sea water is also purported to have healthy minerals and healing properties. It makes me think of baptism, except with baptism, there’s nothing special about the water – it’s the promises of God that give life and healing.
Today is Ash Wednesday and this begins the season of Lent in most of our churches, a time for reflection and repentance as we move towards Easter. I was horrified to read a dictionary definition of repentance: remorse, regret, shame, self-reproach. No wonder it’s not popular! But the biblical meaning of repentance is quite different. It means a change of heart or mind, a turning around. Leaving the old and embracing the new is positive. As Martin Luther said about baptism, we “drown the old so the new can rise up”.
Jesus came up out of the water, and that was the turning point that began his ministry. Let’s embrace this season of Lent
- to be washed clean, forgiven and refreshed
- to rise up from all that bogs us down
- to move forward into ministry with Jesus.
You don’t drown by falling in water, you drown by staying there – Edwin Louis Cole