Every Confirmation Sunday, the students process down the center aisle at the beginning of worship with a long, narrow baptismal banner. In various shades of blue, it helps us imagine a stream of water flowing down through the gathering. They place the banner on the font itself, and it remains there throughout the service.
From its position, one can imagine the waters flowing into or out of the font. In fact, they are.
The waters flow into the font when we gather, each of us empowered by the Spirit to worship God with heart and mind and voice.
The waters flow out of the font when we scatter to what we call “the world,” but which is really God’s world. God is already at work in those places where we go – in our homes, in the marketplace, in our schools, in political discourse, in our places of work and play, in the wider world which we read about or watch across the computer or television screen. The waters through which we pass catches us in their gracious flow to join in God’s work in God’s world.
The Confirmation class plans and leads the service. As they make their way to the chancel, my eye catches the font, its silver bowl gleaming in the natural sunlight in the sanctuary. Each one of these impressive students has walked through these waters. As I see them lead us so well, with their many and varied gifts, I can almost see the waters running down their faces, claiming them and calling them. It leaves me with one feeling.
Hope for the church, to be sure, because these young people are not part of the church of tomorrow, but very much part of this community today.
But more importantly, hope for God’s world, because these youth flow out the doors of this place, drenched in water, and become part of God’s mission in the world.
Flowing in…flowing out.
There is hope.