“Remember your baptism!” My daughter squealed as she soaked me with the sprayer from the kitchen sink…
Work in the kitchen is often a shared chore in our house. Whether preparing a meal or doing the dishes, the kitchen is usually filled with music, dancing, jokes, and laughter. As in many families, our kitchen is a gathering space where our days begin and the facets of our lives collide.
At the parish where I serve, we often talk about exploring the intersection of the stories of our faith and the living of our days. What are practical ways we can connect our faith and spirituality with the particulars of our daily lives? What does it look like when the way of Jesus collides with the different facets of our lives?
I was baptized as a college freshman at the Easter Vigil. The experience was powerful and transformative, a vivid memory that I treasure dearly. It is also an experience that continues to be a lens through which I see the world. It is a lens that colors and interprets the world in fascinating and unexpected ways.
The examination questions of the Baptismal Covenant become filters that are both challenging and grace-filled. I love the first question: Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers? Pulled straight from Acts 2:42, this question is pedagogical: it teaches us what the faithful do when we gather together by asking us to commit to carrying on particular communal practices. Further, this question provokes us into community and encourages how we might live into the questions that follow.
In my work as a youth minister, I have used this question as the framework for my community gatherings. Every time we gather, I try to make sure we do all four: we learn together, we fellowship together, we break bread together, and we pray together. We do these common and ordinary things that ultimately reveal Jesus among us. The inbreaking of the Kingdom of Heaven happens through the small gestures, the gentle cracks, and the littlest rays of light.
This is true as parents and families as well. Our homes are places where we can practice looking for and partnering with the inbreaking of the kingdom of heaven. And so I frequently try to look for ways to connect the normal and mundane with the holy for my kiddos. The kitchen is a natural conduit for these sorts of intersections.
Washing dishes is pretty mundane work, right? But it is also holy work. It is incarnational when you work with another person and share the burden. Washing dishes is practice at taking on the posture of a loving, gentle, and kind servant.
One day a few years ago, as I rinsed a colander, I saw those little holes holding hundreds of water droplets. Intuitively, it just made sense and connected in that moment. Sometimes you use a fancy aspergillum, while other times you might use a branch of rosemary…
Instinctively, I shook the colander at my family, “Remember your baptism!”
It has since become a regular practice in our kitchen. Tupperware, cups, and more are routinely shaken off at one another with loud giggles and laughter, “Remember your baptism!”
The unexpected recipient often straightens up and yelps with a quick shiver from the cold water. One day, having just been doused by yours truly, my daughter caught sight of the kitchen sink sprayer. She grabbed it and quickly soaked me; laughing and yelling, “Remember YOUR baptism!”
In these moments, I hope I am helping my kiddos internalize something of their baptism and life in Jesus.
I pray they begin to see the kingdom of heaven in the most ordinary aspects of their lives. I hope they grasp the joy of being bound together with other people in love and grace. I pray they will find hope in the promise of resurrection and new life when things seem broken or hopeless. I hope they come to more fully understand that they are dearly loved and claimed by God.
So if you happen to be hanging out with my family, particularly in a kitchen or near water, be prepared to get sprinkled (or soaked even!) while someone laughs and yells, “Remember your baptism!”
How do you remember your baptism in daily life?