Baptism of Spirit: Week 3 | Day 5
The second “Mark of Mission” invites us all to share in baptizing new believers. Br. Nicholas Bartoli explores how we can help others share in the “baptism of Spirit,” the inward grace that baptism by water recognizes and remembers.
Question: Who in your life can you help by bringing the baptism of the Spirit to them?
Share your answer in the comments below or using #5marksoflove
Activity: Well of Life
Transcript: This week we’re looking at the second mark of mission, teaching, baptizing, and nurturing believers. For me, the word that stands out there is baptizing, and when I think about what it might mean to baptize believers, or help them be baptized, I think especially about the typical Lent period of preparation for baptism. So in days of old, Lent was very important for the community to come together and help those preparing for baptism be baptized.
Now there are two kinds of baptism generally. There is the sacramental form, which we’re familiar with, the baptizing of someone with water sort of as a symbol and a sign of something that’s going on internally, which is the second form, the baptism of spirit. Both John the Baptist and Jesus both talk about these two types of baptism – of water and spirit. Sometimes the baptism of spirit is referred to as a baptism of fire. And I guess the way they might relate is that the baptism of water is a symbol pointing to the inner reality of this baptism of the heart, of this sort of new relationship that we find with God through Christ.
And of course this raises the question – I mean for something like that, something that seems to be more in the arena of grace given by God, you know – “What can we do as fellow believers to help someone experience that kind of baptism, that kind of turning toward Christ, that baptism of the heart?” And I think really it’s very simple. I think all forms of true spirituality involve this idea of remembering. We’re not really learning anything new in this kind of baptism. We’re sort of remembering something we’ve already known but have forgotten somehow. So perhaps as a community, we need to come together and just sort of remind ourselves of what God’s truth is. And how do we do that? By giving ourselves in service out of love for each other. And through those simple acts of love and generosity, help each other come to this form of baptism, this baptism of the spirit, this in-dwelling of Christ. So we might ask ourselves: Are there people in our lives that we can think of that we might be able to help by serving out of love, by bringing the baptism of spirit to them?
– Br.Nicholas Bartoli
Question: Who in your life can you help by bringing the baptism of the Spirit to them?
This activity invites you to explore the Baptismal Covenant in prayer and reflection during your day and throughout the week. Each morning, write a short prayer based on that day’s question from the Baptismal Covenant. Each evening, reflect on how you are living into this aspect of your faith.
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Your meditation reminds me of a comment in 1 John 1:21–“I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it.” I think that ties in with two things you said, the first relating to the “inner reality of this baptism of the heart” and the comment that “we’re not learning anything new.” We have the truth, we have God, already in our hearts, but we just don’t realize it. The person who helped me know that was a very wise pastoral counselor. It’s true I was willing to be open and vulnerable because I had come to see that my life wasn’t working very well, but I’m not sure I would have been set free and fallen in love with God without his help.
Well, I must now confess that I have never found the act of baptism by water to be much more than a symbolic exercise, which I also freely admit, is very important to many people.
I have always found God’s abundant love and divine grace by becoming immersed in the Holy Spirit. Interesting … I’d never considered those moments to be a “baptism by Spirit” before, but I guess that phrase sums it all up as well as any. And though I can’t say that I can have a spiritual baptism any time or place that I might want it, I can say that I don’t need to make an appointment.
For me, solitude, as well as a physically and spiritually comfortable setting, filled with music which opens both mind and soul, puts me into a meditative state, which can often relax me, and open me, allowing the Holy Spirit to come flowing into me, filling me completely, awakening my every emotion to the essence of my soul.
And these daily Lenten lessons, combined with reading and considering all the blogs written by our kindred, fellow “students”, urge my spirit to write, as well.
Yes, I know people who I can help by sharing God’s love and grace with them. And I do try to share God’s Spirit with those who are willing, and receptive. There are even a few folks who occasionally seek me out when they are spiritually cold and tired, perhaps for some of the inner peace and wisdom which I usually don’t even know is within me until they pull it out. I’ve had some very powerful spiritual exchanges with people who have become very good friends, which have changed both of us, in small little ways, for the rest of our lives. Love can do that, you know.
Thanks Stan, your thoughts really resonated with me. Music is truely one of the foods of love.
I think music is so powerful because when it’s truly heartfelt (as opposed to generic formula), you kinda get to “know” the artist. The best music is when that person really bares their soul within their creation. And that can be just so beautiful …
My heart is heavy for my niece Lesley and for my sister Janice. Almost daily Lesley visits her mother bringing flowers and good cheer, but her Mother’s debilitation and dementia casts a shadow on hope. My sister has been baptized, but I fear God is not in her life, yet Lesley believes. For her the Baptism of the Spirit could open her heart to God’s grace. I am thousands of miles away. So bogged down in her fears and with her own medical problems, will Lesley seek God’s healing power?
I can help friends (thinking of one in particular) who is very lonely; she has sought me out as a companion, and while this can weigh on my nerves at times, I try to remember that I can help by being a listening, supportive presence.
I’m also blessed to be a godmother to 6 wonderful young people, which is another way I can spread the baptism of the spirit.
Water extinguishes fire ( except grease fires!) and fire evaporates water….we live in a physical world where there is an equilbrium between the two which supports life through energy cycles such as the hydrological cycle, the global thermal cycle, and the nutrient cycle.
This equilbium is also vital to our physical and mental states. Maintaining it within myself requires healthy behaviour and lifestyle, faith, meditation, prayer and caring for others. By caring for others and recognising their disequilbrium, I can tranfer the heat energy of vitality, hope, laughter and joy; and the cool energy of calmness, serenity, foregiveness, and peace. God’s love is the most powerful and embracing of all transfers, and I must love others as He loves me.
I have recently been made an honorary grandpa; over her childhood and maturing I will have much transferring to do; but I do it not expecting any reward except that which I will find in my soul.
i am grateful to have lived long enough to see and feel the holy spirit changing lives and relationships. 2 yrs ago a neighbor became my god-daughter as she offered her heart to the great love of God as the HS had been wooing her.
this was a complete surprise to me as she blurted out one day how she wanted what she felt was gods presence in my life… well, hit me with a spiritual 2×4 … especially, since i had secretly thought her a bit annoying. not only did the HS baptize her with the love of God and a desire to worhip him with her life, he baptized me with new understanding, brought me to my knees for my lack of compassion and gave us both the gift of a new relationship in Christ at her baptism 6 months later (2 yrs ago)…. thanks be to god and to the living reality of the baptism and power of his Holy Spirit.
Two years later and my reply to my own earlier comment is still one of awe and praise in the power of the Holy Spirit to woo, love and redeem. I do believe we have all been given what we need to sense God’s presence and to engage Him, if only through nature. I am sad when I hear people say they only believe what they can prove. Love is the very thing that cannot be proved yet none can survive without. That we believe the author of love is God is a gift we were offered and accepted when we were ready to receive it. He stands at the door and knocks. May we always be alert, for ourselves and others enough to say…do you hear that racket? Who is it that is knocking so loudly?
I have been able to share the baptism of spirit with my daughter in law and continue to pray that I have God’s grace, His very being, overflowing in me to her. She is now in a church and attends regularly with my grandson. They are in a confirmation class this year. Of course my part, to just love her and share my experience and hope, has been a very small thread in a large tapestry that Jesus created to bring Lisa to Himself. I hope to remain in her life and Sean’s life to simply BE with them when God allows me to. Lisa and I have seen each other’s darkness, but now we see each other’s light, the Holy Spirit even MORE.
My best friend in the world was never baptized as a child & now as a mother herself has not baptized her son. I feel it’s so important to give a child the gift of being blessed by God, but it’s not my place to push that on her. My beliefs are mine and certainly not hers. She’s not committed to any faith but isn’t against anything either. Her husband is not involved in any way, unfortunately.
I have to try and give her a baptism in spirit through simple acts of love and generosity as suggested in the video. I just wish she could know & have the internal comfort and love I feel knowing that I received gods blessing and my children have that same gift also. Perhaps she will feel this love through other experiences that I can help expose her to.