Common Waters: Global water crises and Christian baptism

Common Waters: Global water crises and Christian baptism

Martha Moore-Keish Perhaps our common baptismal waters above all can help us to see the water crises of our world in terms of the already and the not yet. Already water is a gift, which means it is not ours, but given for the common good of the world: Egypt as well as Ethiopia, Florida as well as Georgia.
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Responses

Water for Alinglaplap; Visions of Water from Alinglaplap
Rachel Hart Winter Water touches every aspect of our lives. Roughly seventy percent of both our bodies and the surface of our planet are comprised of water. We begin our lives in the womb surrounded by water and our lives come to an end when we lack water. It is the life-blood of our ecosystem that supports the survival of both humans and non-humans alike. Numerous religions use water as a symbol of the sacred pointing to cleansing, freedom and new life. As populations grow and water sources run dry, access to water has become a pressing ethical issue that requires immediate attention from scholars and activists of every stripe. Read more...
Water Flows for All
Mark Koenig Martha Moore-Keish's reflection, "Common Waters: Global water crisis and Christian baptism," provides much to ponder and points in several directions for deeper thinking, conversation, and action. The article makes connections between water's role in our baptisms and global water issues in helpful ways. The three insights, rooted in our understanding and experience of baptism that Christians might bring to the current conversations about water seem particularly important for the issues addressed in the reflection and for some additional water-related issues. Read more...
Living Water
Stanley P. Saunders The mosaic image in the apse of the Basilica of St. Giovanni in Laterano, in Rome, the traditional home parish of the Pope, blends together images of the baptism of Jesus, earthly paradise, and the resurrection. The face of Jesus, surrounded by seraphim, gazes down on the viewer. Beneath him, a dove spews forth a stream of water that pours downward over a cross. The cross sits upon a mount from which four rivers stream, carefully labeled after the four rivers of Eden in Genesis 2:11-14. The rivers flow around a meadow that contains the heavenly Jerusalem and finally, at the bottom of the image, into the Jordan River, in which swans and cherubs swim. One cherub rides on the back of a swan. Another seems to be wind-surfing. The whole mosaic is detailed with symbols of the extravagant abundance of creation's gifts, as well as the promise of new life. Here baptism, resurrection, and the restoration of creation itself is tied to the Lordship of Christ through water. Read more...
Author's Response
Martha Moore-Keish Since writing my initial article two months ago and sending it off for responses, I have come to think of this emerging conversation about baptism and global water crises as one contemporary response to the Westminster Larger Catechism's call to "improve our baptism." Read more...

Extras

The Value of Water
Hydrologists tell us that every man, woman, and child in the world needs, on average, about 1100 cubic meters of water per year to survive. By way of a rough visualization of that volume, imagine enough water to fill a typical two-story home in the United States. Per person. Per year. We are, as our authors remind us, water people. Read more...
Common Waters Lessons
A Set of 4 Lesson Plans for "Common Waters". Read more...