They say more than 70% of our bodies are made of water.
In many religions ritual washing plays an important role.
In Christianity it is a symbol.
In Christianity it has become a symbol of division.
Baptists & Charismatic disagreeing with Roman Catholics & Protestants.
Protestants & Roman Catholics disagreeing with each other.
But not only Christians practice baptism.
In Judaism there is the ‘Tvilah’.
The ‘Tvilah’ is the act of immersion in natural sourced water, called a ‘Mikvah’.
If someone would convert to Judaism, immersion is required as part of their conversion.
Immersion in the mikvah represents a change in status in regards to purification, restoration, and qualification for full religious participation in the life of the community.
It seems, many faiths have recognized water in ritual.
Muslims use water to cleanse themselves in preparation for their five daily prayers.
Hindus also use water to cleanse themselves before prayer.
One of the religious rituals of Hinduism is ‘tarpana’, which means to please or to gratify.
Specifically, ‘tarpana’ is the act of pouring water through the hands with the use of sacred grass as a symbolic gesture of recognition, thanking and pleasing Gods, sages, and fathers.
In all of this, we are trying to stumblingly find our way.
Not as Protestants or Evangelicals or Catholics.
Not as Christians or Jews or Muslims.
Not as people who claim to have a hold on the truth.
Or people who have the right to exclude.
Beings who have come to believe that life is lived in relationship.
Beings who believe the Creator of all things is also the redeemer of all things, unto relationship.
And so we stumblingly seek to find a new way.
And my understanding of the Creator was influenced.
Emoto claims that human consciousness has an effect on the molecular structure of water.
It isn’t really something I would be able to explain in a paragraph.
If you’re interested, watching this video would explain it much better & much more visually: The Power of the Word.
What it comes down to, is this: consciousness & words have a visible & physical effect on the structure of water.
Water brings life.
Perhaps water is life?
Or life is water?
Emoto comes to the conclusion: ‘water is sacred & comes from the divine, water was the ingredient that initiated all life on our planet.’
Words are Seeds, I’ve come to believe.
It should be no surprise that people, in their desire to express their faith, have always included water.
The account of creation, shared by Jew, Muslim & Christian make the same claim as Masaru Emoto.
It speaks of God’s Spirit hovering over the surface of the waters.
In the beginning.
It speaks of a mist going up from the earth & plants coming to life.
More than that.
In the account of God and humans, shared by Jew, Muslim & Christian, water is always life.
It is always life giving.
Even where these three religions each go their own way, with separate sacred writings, water remain key.
The story of the Great Flood speaks of water in excess ‘washing’ the earth.
The story of Moses leading Israel from Egypt shows them coming through water to freedom & often receiving water from a rock or through a rock.
The Jewish Psalmist speak of a tree.
Planted at water’s edge.
Bringing forth fruit in its season.
With leaves that do not wither.
Islam have the same idea of the centrality of water.
The Qur’an also makes reference to the Flood, spoken of in the Jewish Pentateuch & Christian Old Testament.
The Qur’an asserts that water is, the sole basis for the emergence of life: “We have made every living thing out of water.” (Sura 21 The Prophets, ayat 30).
Interestingly, even in Buddhism, typically void of rituals, water is poured into a bowl placed before the monks and the dead body at a funeral and these words are spoken: ‘As the rains fill the rivers and overflow into the ocean, so likewise may what is given here reach the departed.‘
As if the awareness that water is life is completely undeniable.
A baby in her mother’s womb exist in water for 9 months.
It fills the baby’s lungs.
Allow her to ‘breathe’.
It protects the baby, keeping her safe.
And when she is born, the ‘water breaks’, enabling the coming into this world.
Water keeps our system clean.
How many glasses should we drink per day?
We cook with it.
We create with it.
Everything from sour mash whiskey to soft drinks.
It feeds our crops.
It is vital for any harvest.
Some say we could survive for three weeks without food.
But not even three days without water.
And the Christian New Testament shows their Christ’s first miracle as the changing of water into wine.
It makes claims of their Christ having said: ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.’
Seen by those who believe in a Being who created, as the origin of life.
And the bringer of life.
Which brings me back to the traditions of baptism.
I was raised in a Reformed Christian home.
I was baptized as a baby.
As the sign of inclusion in God’s covenant with Abraham.
My first three children were baptized in the same way.
A decade ago.
Since, we have changed.
We have found our way out of the Church into a Mosque.
And now Maddi is here.
For the moment.
And we want to share a moment with Maddi.
Retaining some continuity with our past.
We’ve invited friends to come to our home.
For a special moment.
And in this moment we will express words of gratitude.
For her coming into our life.
For the life she has & had & will have.
For what she gives to us & what we will be allowed to give to her.
We will express words of hope.
For who she is & was & will be.
For what we might share.
For how she might be & become.
And perhaps, as we speak these words, as we express these hopes, we will pour some water.
Not to claim anything.
But to admit.
That there is a collective origin of us all.
A collective sustainer of us all.
Without whom we cannot be.
A someone recognized by many in many different ways.
A someone who does not exclude.
A someone who embraces.
Who has put this existence together with detail we cannot imagine.
Of which we each have seen only glimpses.
It will not be a washing.
For we need not be washed.
It will not be an including.
For we are all already included.
It will be only a moment.
An unnecessary moment at that.
Necessary for us though.
Telling those we’ve come to love of what is living inside of us.
Perhaps we’ll drink water together.
Expressing our collective oneness.
And perhaps, in all of this, there will be something beautiful.
As we share a moment.
Not excluding or judging or dividing.
A moment, embracing.
Ourselves as well.
And everything we’ve been.
And everything we’ve become.
And everything we may still be.