Every use of water can be seen as a form of baptism, an opportunity to offer prayers of thanksgiving and appreciation for the gift of water and of life. We can so easily take it for granted, however missing the richness of these prayerful and sacramental moments that using water affords us, reminding us constantly of our covenant with God and reassure us of the cleansing of our souls that has taken place through baptism.
Legend has it that Martin Luther used to splash himself with water when he was upset saying “But I am baptized!” and say a prayer of gratitude for baptism when he washed his hands and face.
My pastor has encouraged me to follow Luther’s example. When I shower, when I wash my hands, when I drink water, remember my baptism. Use the water as a moment to say a prayer of gratitude. She calls these moments “trigger” prayers, because water “triggers” the reminder to pray. I’ve done variations on this too: when I see red, remember the Holy Spirit and give thanks; when I see pink, say a prayer for those affected by breast cancer, etc. I can’t do all of these each time, but I often challenge myself to pick one trigger of the day. Water is perhaps one of the most powerful triggers for me because it is tactile, it is visual; it is life-sustaining and life-giving.
I have questions about baptism, but when I remember my baptism through water and the Spirit, I try to put those doubts and questions aside. I think of the tradition we have at our church for children with baptism. All children are invited to the font so they can see. Once the person has been baptized, they say “Jesus loves you!” in unison to the newest member.
If nothing else, that’s a good trigger to remember. When you see something–anything–remember that Jesus loves you. My prayer for you this week is that you find a trigger that speaks to your soul. May you sense and know that Jesus loves you, and that this love surrounds you in all things. Amen.