NIV Ezekiel 36:25-27 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
For those of us who believe baptism is a sacrament of grace that is a sign of our belonging to God’s new covenant people, the sprinkling of water has a profound meaning. I was baptized by immersion. It was not being dunked in a tub full of water that was important. Yes, the literal word in the Greek does mean to immerse, but immersed in what? Immersed in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Immersed in love and grace. Immersed into a community of the called, the set apart whom God has given a new heart and a new spirit. This is what is important. God does the sprinkling (or the dunking or the pouring) and we become a child of the covenant.
Lent has its foundation in baptism. In the early church it was a time of preparation for baptism. For me today, it is a time of preparation because of baptism.
God’s Spirit has come to (John 16:8) convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment. The Holy Spirit (John 14:26) will teach you all things and will remind you of everything Jesus taught about the Word of God. The more we submit to the Spirit’s leading the closer we are to God and the more understanding of the relational covenant we will possess. This understanding is what sustains us when all else fails.
Take time today to reflect on your baptism. Take time to pay attention to the Spirit God has sent to our hearts. Take time to be changed and give thanks for the deeper and more profound hope you will find.