An Ever-Flowing Stream

Posted by on Apr 4, 2013 in Blog


Ever Flowing Stream by Kevin Ohlin

 This Easter I had the honor of participating in the baptism of two new daughters of God: Lyla Kanani Carmen Roehrich and Colter Nichole Dunham. We gathered with each girl around a tiny little bowl, which I filled with a few cups of warm water. I said a few words. Their parents said a few words. The congregation said a few words. Then I dribbled a few handfuls of water over their foreheads. It was all over in a matter of minutes. And this is meant to wash her of her sin, to bring her into a new life of love in Jesus Christ. We see such great power in such a small act!

On their own, these few drops of water hold only a fragile power. (You can’t get much of a washing of any sort with a few handfuls of water!) On their own they are perhaps a poor representation of what they are said to proclaim. But these few drops are not alone, because with them we tie the words we speak over them; and with these words we tie these few drops of water together with all the other waters of all the other baptismal fonts across all the world; and also with the rivers, and the lakes, and the streams, and the oceans where people have been and are being baptized.

We also connect these few drops especially to the waters of the river Jordan, where Jesus was baptized by John and anointed by the Holy Spirit. And we tie them especially to the water that came from Jesus’ side when he was pierced by the spear on the cross. The fragility of these few drops from this small puddle of water is overcome by God’s persistent insistence that people should know that they are loved.

In the Large Catechism, Martin Luther wrote, “A Christian life is nothing else than a daily baptism, begun once and continuing ever after.”  Luther points us to the spiritual nature of baptism, which is like an ever flowing stream washing us for our entire lives. Every day we stand again in need of God’s forgiveness. Every day the waters of baptism pour down upon us again. Every day Jesus renews his relationship with us and brings us again to new life.

We participate in baptism just once, but I encourage to remember it every time you wash. Let every shower, every bath, every facewashing or handwashing becomes an opportunity to remember that you have been and are being baptized. Experience the grace of God all over again! A simple practice is to wash three times and each time to remember your baptism with a few words, “In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” Or make the sign of the cross with water and remember, “I am baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.” Let water truly become a sign of the Kingdom of God for you in such a way that every time you touch it you remember that your baptism continues every day of your life. God insists that you should know that you are loved.


Pastor Rory Philstrom

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *