A series of prayers are said: deliver from the way of sin and death; open hearts to grace and truth; fill them with holy, life-giving Spirit; keep them in faith and communion with your holy Church; teach them to love others in the power of the Spirit; send them into the world to witness to your love; bring them to fullness of your peace and glory.

Baptism always renews the church. The Lord delivers us from the ways of sin and death. The water of baptism does not do this but the Holy Spirit does these things: open our hearts to grace and truth; unity of the church; loving others; witnessing to God’s love; peace and glory. It is but by the Holy Spirit that we see anything as God see it. Thirst for God and to be in communion with God. The presence of the Holy Spirit in all sacraments is what truly gives us true happiness that man seeks. The life that is given to us in the death and resurrection of baptism that the Holy Spirit renews in us is not another life.

It is the same life given to us by God, but renewed, transformed and transfigured by the Holy Spirit. Each Christian—whether monk or involved in business—is called not to split his life into spiritual and material, but to restore it into wholeness, to sanctify the whole of it by the presence of the Holy Spirit. If St. Saraphim of Sarov is happy in this world, if his earthly life ultimately becomes one bright stream of joy, if he truly enjoys every tree and every animal, if he greets everyone coming to him by calling him “my joy”, it is because in all of this he sees and enjoys the One Who is infinitely beyond all this and yet makes all of it the experience, the joy, the fullness of His Presence. For it is He who makes life into life, joy into joy, love into love, beauty into beauty,” and therefore is all these things (Of Water and Spirit Schmemann 108, 106).

The thanksgiving of the water.

This is the reminder that God brooded over the waters when God made all things. In a way it is a primordial element where all life has sprung from. It is the source of life from the One Who created and is Life itself. We are reminded of the passage of the Israelites out of Egypt—from death into life. Our bondage unshackled, where we have freedom from sin and the world of death through baptism. We share in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ who was baptized by John. We are led into repentance and forgiveness. The old man is put to death. Our renewed self emerges into the life of Christ. It is a life-long struggle—our old self rears his death-head rather often. In the sanctification of the water by the Holy Spirit, our life is sanctified in Christ. We are now children of God, re-united with the Father. None of these things are possible without the cross or without the Holy Spirit.

After the baptism.

We receive you into the household of God. Confess the faith of Christ crucified, proclaim his resurrection, and share with us in his eternal priesthood.

If Christ gives us life everlasting with Him, why should we not proclaim the joy of our salvation. For in Christ’s death, all the world died. Christianity does not condemn the world. It condemned itself. That is why it must be re-made but only by Christ himself. In Christ’s resurrection, the new heaven and new earth began. It is not yet remade, but at Christ’s return, the world will be culminated—be as it should be.

We share in Christ’s eternal priesthood because by definition, man (persons—male and female) by definition were priests. We gladly received the world from God and offered it to God. This is the Great Thanksgiving (the Eucharist). The world was the Great Thanksgiving, the blessing of God. In this thanksgiving man’s life was transformed into communion with God. But man fell. He wanted the world for himself. Thus making the world his prison and being a slave to the world. That is why Christ offers us return to the eternal priesthood because Jesus Christ came as Priest (as well as prophet and king) to restore the world, for the life of the world. He now allows us to become like Christ, a priest, one obedient to the King, to receive the world from God and give it back to God, therefore having communion with God once again. That rift was restored in the Priest of all priests, Jesus Christ. When we are in fellowship and obedience to Jesus Christ, we are restored to our original intent, communion with God and enjoying His creation—not for ourselves, though there is a joy and delight in our enjoyment, of course, because God gives us good gifts.

And in this renewing and restoring, this new creation, we have the peace of the Lord always with us because He is the one bringing the new heaven and new earth to reality.

Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus