He said, ‘The God of our ancestors has selected you to know his will, to see the righteous one, and to hear his voice. You will be his witness to everyone concerning what you have seen and heard. What are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized, and wash away your sins as you call on his name.’ – Acts 22:14-16
Today I had the esteemed pleasure of driving to Blackstone, Va to the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center to teach a few classes at the Lay Servants Academy. This was a very great pleasure because it was something I had never done before and will hopefully strengthen my knowledge of leading others (but more posts on that as the weekend progresses). As I was driving here i got of I-64 and on to route 288 in Virginia and it started pouring down rain. It was raining so hard I could hardly see anything at all in front of me which made it very difficult to drive. It is times like these where I really dislike rain. I have to be extra cautious as I drive and I have to watch out for puddles. I had tried to leave and be there before I thought the rain was supposed to start (at 4PM), but obviously that didn’t work. I am not a bad rain driver, in fact I am fairly good because I proceed cautiously. The point is rain while driving really irritates and I usually do all I can to avoid it.
As I was driving I thought normally I don’t mind rain I actually like it. I enjoy running in the rain or playing sports in the rain. It’s only when I’m driving that I don’t. So I started to really think about what rain meant and not just rain but a pouring of water. Rain is something that cleanses. We often pour water or sprinkle it during Baptisms. This sometimes reminds me of rain as the water rushes over people. As these thoughts rushed through my head my mind began to think of the rain in a good way. The water is washing all the bad materials away as it rushes over the land. Much like the water of Baptism washes us clean. In this passage from Acts Luke is writing about being baptized and washing away the sins. In the Methodist Church we only believe you need to be baptized once, but we often will have services where we remember our baptism and it is a time to remember how the water of the Holy Spirit washes away our sin and cleanses us.
So next time you are driving in the rain and you get mad cause it is raining and you are driving in it. Just think about what the rain can represent in terms of washing away and cleansing what it touches.