Acts 8: 15-16 (NRSVA)
15 The two went down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit 16 (for as yet the Spirit had not come upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus).
Formaphobia isn’t a proper word, but it should be. There needs to be some way of describing the stress I feel when presented with a document full of boxes to be filled in. I especially hate ones that require you to choose simple answers when any reasonably accurate reply clearly needs explanation or context.
Apparently this stress isn’t universal and some people actually like forms. I am not sure I believe this.
Nevertheless, love them or hate them, sometimes we just have to tick boxes. I don’t suppose even the most dedicated civil servant has the time to read all my complicated answers.
Some folks see baptism as a box ticking exercise. Get the baby ‘done’ and you are sorted. But what if baptism is more like the ‘unboxing’ videos I watched when researching a new guitar?
“Right, here we go. I’m about to open the box…It’s very well packaged, God clearly wants this experience to get to us safely. (Sound of rustling paper) Wow, would you look at that. Isn’t it beautiful? Let’s take a moment to just look at it. The craftsmanship is extraordinary: the water, the words, the spirit. Look at all the tiny details. He’s thought of everything hasn’t he?…I’m just going to pick it up… Gosh, it fits like it was made for me. Let’s try it out…have you ever heard anything like it? There’s no way this is going back in the box. I am going to want to hear this every single day.”
You crafted a beautiful way for us to be restored to you
Teach us to unbox your gift of baptism every day.
Marvelling each time in the new tunes your spirit draws out of us