The Rev. Casey dunsworth

serves as Associate Campus Pastor to the Belfry, the Lutheran-Episcopal Campus Ministry to UC Davis

and as Program Director for LEVN, the Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network.

Baptized and Set Free

This Sunday, we celebrate the Baptism of our Lord -- as the story goes, Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist. It was pretty much just like every other baptism, except for the part where the heavens were opened and the Holy Spirit descended like a dove, and the voice of God was heard to thunder, "This is my Son, the beloved, with whom I am well pleased." We don't experience these same theatrics each time we baptize one among us, but we do experience the presence of the Holy Spirit, and the welcome and freedom of the community of Christ. This week, we're singing this hymn as we baptize a child at each of our worship services:

We are people created, chosen by God.
Then we're washed, ever gently, in mercy and love.
Sin has power no more.
Jesus opened the door to a fountain bringing healing and wholeness and more.

We are fed and we're nourished, filled and refreshed.
Then our hunger returns and again we are blessed.
For whatever the need, God is greater, indeed: 
endless ocean, always deeper than all of our need.

We are nourished by water, all living things, and by life that the Spirit abundantly brings.
As we journey toward home, may our presence be known: 
precious river, ever-flowing, now carry us home.

Now with praise and thanksgiving, we join the song.
All are welcome!
We gather to sing loud and strong.
Not enslaved, but set free!
From now on, all will be one in Jesus, one in water, baptized and set free!

As a water person, I am always a big fan of our baptismal imagery, and love this hymn in particular for its use of "endless ocean" as a descriptor for God. That's my jam. 


"Poor Boy, Minor Key" by M. Ward