Saved through water
Who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God’s will, than to suffer for doing evil. For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you—not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him. ~ I Peter 3:13-22
The Christian faith is full of symbols. Of those, water might be the one we most closely identify with.
Water can be frightening. Certainly it was for Jesus' disciples, who despite many of them being fishermen, were still pretty nervous in a storm at sea. So sometimes we feel that water itself is something we need saving from.
Maybe you've noticed that the interior of many churches looks remarkably like an upside down ark.
In fact, the word "nave" (which is the central part of the church) comes from the Latin word meaning "ship."
It reminds us that the church is God's "ark of salvation." It is the ship that brings us safely through the waters of our faith, much as Noah's ark carried humans and animals to salvation.
But water isn't always frightening. Sometimes water itself is saving.
How many of us sit by the ocean and are immediately transported to feeling that God right there with us?
Or how many find the sounds of a brook or stream to be soothing?
After a long journey, how many of us can think of nothing else than to get under a long, hot shower?
In this ship of the church, we find waters that save. The waters of baptism are waters that heal. They are waters that bring us into the body of the Church. Into the Body of Christ.
Waters that carry us through life, both in and out of God's Ark.
Let your healing water pour down on me, Lord, and let them carry me through this journey of life. Amen