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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What I’m Reading Today: Hebrews 9

In yesterday’s entry, I talked about a new craze that has taken over South Korea called the Coffin Academy. The gist of the Coffin Academy is that it was designed to provide individuals with an experience of one’s death before one actually dies; the hope being that participants arrive at a new appreciation for life after having gone through the experience.

At last night’s Sacred Grounds conversation group (held each Tuesday at the Starbucks on the corner of Topanga and Dumetz at 7:00 PM – and yes, that was a shameless plug for our weekly lectionary conversation group that you are welcome to join), the topic of the Coffin Academy came up as we were chewing on this week’s scripture: Luke 3:15-17, 21-22. Most participants didn’t realize that this Sunday is designated as “Baptism of Jesus” Sunday on the church’s liturgical calendar. The Sunday is set aside to do two things: first, to commemorate Jesus’ baptism; and second, to remember/celebrate our own baptism.

As we were talking about the sacrament of baptism, few people realized just how close the experience of baptism (particularly as done by a method known as immersion or dunking) parallels the Coffin Academy.

And how does baptism do that?

Well, when the baptismal candidate descends into the water in an action that symbolically represents the individual dying to self. When the candidate rises up out of the water, the action represents the individual rising up into a new life in Christ. Most folks in our conversation had not thought of baptism in these terms.

In these days heading up to Sunday’s baptismal themed service, I would invite you to spend time thinking about baptism. What does it mean to you? My hope is that by thinking about the topic for a few days, your experience of Sunday’s worship experience will be heightened.

Til next time…

1 comment:

betsy said...

A couple of thoughts-the phrase every day a new beginning-which I think comes from AA or some group where the new leaf is turned in the book of living--well, what came to my mind was something that sounds macbre, but isn't really--its a play I wrote-probably aaround 1985-we reaed it aloud in a women's group at our church-my Mom was alive then, and I recall Maria Barbee was in the group-but I can't recall who else-(I'm getting to the point) the play was called "The Funeral." It was about a woman who had a terminal condition. she was in the hospital and she was an actresss and she decided that she would direct her own dying-that is she wanted to be presentfor her funderal-so tha she could experience all the accolades (sp?) -it is sort of unny, except at the end, when she realizes that being present for her "Funeral" is not waht she thought it could be all she thought it shold be. So what was your question....Betsy Noorzay