|image credit: dioceseoftrenton.org|
In the next few posts I will share some thoughts about what baptism is for and why it's important.
Baptism serves as an initiation into the Christian community. It's an entrance into the church.
Many people get caught-up with that word "initiation." But initiation isn't a bad thing. Initiation gone bad is called "hazing." Baptism isn't hazing.
Initiation is just an activity or ceremony to mark the entrance and acceptance of someone into a group.
The person being initiated is saying, "I would like to be a part of this group and what it's about." The group doing the initiating is saying, "We welcome you and accept you as one of us."
This group solidarity and unity is on Paul's mind in 1 Corinthians 12:13:
"Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit."
He's saying, "We all came from different places, but now we're in this together."
So initiation rituals serve to build, reinforce, and maintain the identity of a group.
And baptism serves that purpose for the community of Christians around the world.
Consider This (Logizomai in Romans 6:11)