My church baptized one person at the Easter Vigil this year. She had begun her faith journey in an underground church in a communist country, and her long journey had finally brought her to our font. Even from my faraway perch in the back row of the choir loft that night, I could tell from the way she walked toward the big font that she was deeply moved. When the pastor asked the ritual question, “Don you desire to be baptized into Christ?” she answered with a thrill in her voice. She knelt in the pool at the foot of the stone font and the pastor dipper a big silver pitcher into the water. “I baptize you in the name of the Father,” he said, and poured the water over her. It must have been a gallon. “And of the Son”–a second long pour and splash. “And of the Holy Spirit”–a third splash. She was drenched through and through. He helped the new Christian to her feet, and her sponsor wrapped a towel around her shoulder as the whole assembly sang a joyful alleluia.
Our pastor told us later that when he helped her up, she said, “Oh, I wish the water would flow forever!” What a wonderful prayer.
This reflection comes from “Come to the waters,” a devotion by Audrey Novak Riley that first appeared in the July 2008 issue of Interchange.