Polarities in Society


A Biblical presentation of the pouring mode of baptism

This past Sunday morning the service featured a sermon by our youth minister,  a baptism and testimonies by persons recently baptized.  Our youth pastor  is unique.  Many youth pastors see their calling as a way to becoming a  lead pastor.  But our youth minister sees his call as more nearly a life  time of service to youth.  Of course he does not know his future, but he is  on the way to understanding how to live fully in the present moment. The present  moment is his life!

He accepted the moment as an opportunity to teach the nuances of  baptism.  He used much of the terminology of Roman 6; although he did not  refer to immersion as the mode of baptism.  He noted a commentator who  wrote of two polarities in society.  One polarity pulls toward the American dream, and the other  polarity pulls toward the values of  the “kingdom to come”, the kingdom  that is already here.

Americans dream of earning a lot of money and owning a lot of things.   That, taught the preacher in Ecclesiastes, is as unfulfilling as trying to grab  a fistful of wind.  A person in Christian baptism is drawn to the values of  another lifestyle:  living, serving and dying for others; a life style  filled with love, joy and peace.

Are these the only options?

The movement from one polarity to the other was described as a mystery by our  youth minister.  To me, the mystery is seen in the pouring of the Spirit  at  Pentecost, and on Cornelius and his household.   In each instance there was a pouring down or a shedding fourth of the Spirit and  as I understand it, of water in baptism.  There is a baptism of Spirit and  of water. The Christian life is one of joy through suffering. It is different from the  American dream.


About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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