Dancing on the Head of a Pin

There is a legend of St Thomas Aquinas asking "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?" At this blog we ask all questions dealing with our faith and spirituality. Some are down to earth, rubber meets the road questions, while others are more lofty...like, how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Dying and Rising

This picture is of the liturgical west end of St Michael's. When you come in the narthex, among the first things you will see is our baptismal font. Directly above the baptismal font is a beautiful 19th century stained glass window of the Crucifixion from the Church of the Atonement in Augusta, GA. Baptism is a great mystery. I don't mean mystery in the sense that we don't know what it means, but I mean mystery in the sense that it's fullness is beyond our complete understanding (as all things of God are). In baptism we are grafted into the Body of Christ. The Prayer Book calls baptism the "Sacrament of new birth." The symbolism of baptism is tied with the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. When we go into the water (or the water comes over us) we go into the tomb with Jesus. When we emerge, we are raised with Jesus. We have been given new life, a new birth after we have died to sin and risen in Christ. During the Thanksgiving over the Water, the priest says, "We thank you, Father, for the water of Baptism. In it we are buried with Christ in his death. By it we share in his resurrection." The window above the font reminds us that in baptism we have died with Christ, when we turn and face east toward the altar, we are reminded that in our baptism we have risen with Christ who is present with us in the Holy Eucharist.


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