Friday, January 07, 2011

Font, Alpha and Omega

The church where our offices are located keeps a baptismal font near the front of the door to the chapel.  It always has water in it, and the lid hangs on the wall above the font -- in other words, the font is always open.

Whenever I go into the chapel (and I do go in sometimes, when I need a place for quiet prayer), I touch the water.  I like it.  I wish our church  had the same tradition.

I was reading a post by Dr. Todd Strep, who blogs at Wesleyan / Anglican.  He says:

By placing the Font near the entrance to the place of worship, or, in our case (having two entrances), at the back of the center aisle, we symbolize that it is through the waters of baptism that we enter into the Church and become members of the Body of Christ. As we gather to worship, the Font is a witness of God’s grace poured out to us. As we depart to serve, the Font calls us to live out our baptismal faith in the world, to allow the grace of our baptism to “work its way out” in us and to shape us. In both instances, we are reminded that we are not our own. We belong to God.

I love the idea of the symbolism described for the font in the quote.  We enter through baptism, grace is poured out through baptism and we exit by the font, reminded to live out our baptism.

I wonder what stops us from taking advantage of this beautiful symbolism.  In our church, the font is usually located near the pulpit, out of the way of the crowd, with the lid on, and with no water.  What does that symbolize? 

The picture above was an altar I arranged for last year's Baptism of the Lord worship service.



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