We often hear the cry and mantra, ‘we are an inclusive community.’
However, our starting point is not exclusion, but mutuality.
We are baptised into the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
God is a mutual God. He is in us, and we are in him.
Baptise is a Greek word meaning ‘immerse.’ For instance, there is an ancient recipe for baptising (immersing) cucumbers in vinegar.
Cucumbers need a good soaking, as do we:
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
And teach them to observe all that I have commanded you (Matthew 28).
We are to be baptised in water and in the teaching of Jesus – and this will lead to disciples.
Of recent times, we have focused too much on baptism in water, but not the teaching.
However, in ancient times this was not the case.
St. Cyril of Jerusalem (313-386) has bequeathed to us a Christian Instruction Before Baptism.
In his time, the Church took seriously the need to be baptised in the teaching of Jesus, before baptism by water.
Time for us to do the same.