Baptism of rain on an autumn Sunday

“Remember your baptism. Remember your baptism.” During Sunday service, Reverend Kara repeated this call as she strode down the carpeted aisle, shaking the silver aspergillum with holy water from the cistern where a child had been baptized earlier this morning.

Scattered water drops landed upon the congregants, reminding us of our new life in Christ. This is a standard practice in liturgical churches, and it is one of the many ways that our faith is physically brought to life through the incorporation of the senses.

The interior of an episcopal church, with people spaced out in wooden pews so as to socially distance. The front contains paintings of Christ and the apostles, a stained glass window lines the left side, and a blue and white painted organ sits on the right side.
View from the pews, PC: KSB

We proceeded into the prayers of the people, the offering, and the Eucharist, concluding with the classic hymn “Amazing Grace.” As familiar as it is, I cannot remember hearing it in the past couple years, and it was comforting.

Shortly thereafter, when service ended, I hurried home through the cold, passing over damp pavement lined with wildflowers and speckled with pigeon excrement, observing the gaudy Halloween decorations.

A factory painted the color of garnet accented the autumn trees. Few cars drove down the side street by the painted bridge, which hosted inspirational quotes about dreaming and displayed our neighborhood mural.

The 11 o’clock hour was serene yet chilly, gray, and drizzling, and I wanted to be in the warmth of my house.

But as I walked that half mile from the church to my house, the sparse raindrops transformed from something bothersome to something lovely. Scattered as they were, they reminded me of my baptism just as the sprinkled holy water had.

God chose today to remind us yet again that, as the liturgy reads, we are sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked as Christ’s own forever. In and outside of church, this remains true.

Marigold wildflowers on a rainy day.