The baptism of Jesus the Christ means what for us exactly? Baptism as it now stands is largely seen as a sacrament of initiation into a Christian faith community. It has become individualised even though it joins us to a faith community. It has become a prerequisite for belonging. It has become a ritual that removes the ‘stain’ of our original sin. Without baptism it is largely believed we don’t really belong. How does this marry with Jesus’ baptism? Wouldn’t it be more accurate to say that within this Baptism of Jesus, it reveals the Communion of Heaven and Earth – it reveals the conscious co-joining or the Oneness/Wholeness of everything that IS, into God – into Love? This Communion has always been, but in this extraordinary action, it now is born into our consciousness.
The whole Cosmos and God are One, now revealed within this beautiful, cosmic and powerful symbol and ritual Jesus reveals to us. And the ‘voice of God’ that reverberated throughout the Cosmos, that Jesus is the Christ and the Beloved; is a voice that is sung out to the whole Cosmos including every one of us for all time. It is a confirmation of who we ALL ARE, and always have been, made manifest in and through Jesus the Christ. It is a highly symbolic action of everyone/ and everything belonging. This Baptism of Jesus is the arising of our human consciousness to this Belonging. It unfolds our ‘original blessing’ not our ‘original sin’.
But like so much in our world, we have individualised baptism, we have segregated it, we have made it a condition of belonging and for some even an entry requirement for Heaven, and in the process then we have forgotten the implications of Baptism and who we truly are.
The mystics often speak of non-dualism. Without this mystical consciousness of Wholeness, a consciousness that sees God/Love in and through everything, then we will continue to divide most things. You are in and you are out. You belong and you don’t. I am right and you are wrong……… The sacrament of Baptism is a reminder of who we already are, who everyone is – it is NOT a prerequisite for salvation. Please God we have moved past that erroneous mentality. Every time someone is baptised it is an eternal and beautiful reminder of who WE ARE in and through the Christ - not WHO I AM after baptism in isolation to those not baptised. It is an AWAKENING to the Truth of who we already are. Sadly, we have largely come to see baptism as a symbol of my own individual entry into salvation (being made whole), whatever that might mean! Such individualism surely makes no sense to Love? Love can only Love; it knows nothing of exclusion and separation.
Imagine how different our world might be if at every baptism we could place ourselves at Jesus’ baptism consciously opening into this extraordinary Wholeness – Heaven and the Cosmos being One. Jesus’ baptism is the revelation of Love where there are no exclusions. It is not a personal and individualised event only, it is a Cosmic communal reminder with deep personal and communal ramifications. Moslem, Jew, Hindu, Buddhism, atheists, other …. are all part of this extraordinary Baptism of the Christ. It does not require personal baptism to be so – it already IS. Again, no one and no thing is excluded within this Baptism of the Christ. Our personal baptism is a reminder of this.
But, it seems mostly we prefer to divide, we prefer to exclude, we prefer to play favourites, and we continue doing this until eventually, we seem to have now lost sight of the true significance of baptism. We have projected our own blindness onto God/Love. Baptism is a sacrament of remembering our Wholeness – it is a Cosmic sacrament of consciousness. How we choose to make this Truth manifest will be different for all of us. Some will make connection in the Christian Church, others will find connection in other churches and faith communities. Some will find connection in their love of the Earth and each other, without any real connection to a specific faith community. As Rohr says: ‘Everything Belongs’ however we choose to give it expression. It is Love that matters.
When we come to see and experience this we will see the sacramental life of the Cosmos involves far more than seven sacraments. We will see that EVERYTHING is a Sacrament – everything is a visible sign of God/Love – everything is constantly inviting us to consciously partake of this Eternal Love that is here with us NOW and not dependent upon our ‘yes’ to be made manifest, because it already IS manifest. But often we don’t recognise this. Our ‘yes’ then becomes our conscious acceptance and recognition of this profound truth.
I leave you with these words from Richard Rohr in his book: WHAT THE MYSTICS KNOW:
‘It is much easier to belong to a group than to belong to God. To belong to a group one usually has to be convinced the group is “right”’ to belong to God, one always knows one is as wrong as everybody else.’ Page 101