"Oh happy day,
Oh happy day,
When Jesus washed,
When Jesus washed,
He washed my sins away..."
Don't you just love this performance of "Oh Happy Day," from the film, Sister Act. It gives me chills. It has the same effect on me as almost any performance of "Amazing Grace."
To have my "sins" washed away by Jesus' message of Love-inspired salvation, always takes my breath away. But lately, as I have considered what this really means to me, I started to see that I was cherishing a mental image of a traditional baptism, as "how" Jesus washed away sins. But, Jesus, himself, never baptized anyone in a large body of water or by sprinkling water on their heads or foreheads...that we know of anyway. But, what he did do though, was wash feet.
His example was not one of a spiritual leader who, from the lofty summit of greater spiritual insight and demonstration, magnanimously absolves man from his sin (any belief in a separation from God, good, and His creation...and the reaction to that belief) through a ceremonial immersion in water.*
No, his model was that of a servant, naked before those he ministered to -- humbly washing the most dirt-ravaged parts of their bodies...feet that had walked miles on dusty roads in open sandals...with the tenderness of a parent washing a child's wounds. Teaching each of them "how" to do it, and then offering this gentle instruction:
"...ye should do as I have done to you."
So, I have to ask myself: "am I...?"
Mary Baker Eddy's counsel, in part, through these passages, has provided insight and guidance. She writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures:
"To...follow his [our Master's] example, is our proper debt to him and the only worthy evidence of our gratitude for all that he has done."
"We all must learn that Life is God. Ask yourself: Am I living the life that approaches the supreme good? Am I demonstrating the healing power of Truth and Love? If so, then the way will grow brighter "unto the perfect day."
A brighter day, a perfect day...oh happy day...
*I am so grateful that Mary Baker Eddy defines "baptism" as: "Purification by Spirit; submergence in Spirit." What a wonderful way of thinking about this term.