May 23, 2010

baptism

This is a spoken-word piece a group of us wrote for Annual Conference. I'll get video posted soon.

Written By Revs. Jeff Nelson, Eric Kieb, Michael Mayo-Moyle, and Jeremy Peters

Presented during worship on Friday, May 21.

sprinkle me
splash me
dip me
dunk me
dowse me
drown me
pour me
plunge me
spew me
spray me

bring me to the water
take to the river
open up the fire hydrant
fill the kiddie pool

just baptize me now
and I care don’t how

baptize me
in Sunday morning worship water
a whole world waiting to happen
a kingdom around the corner water
newborn promises and weepy eyed mother water
first cry of new creation
aww...ain’t she cute in her little white suit water
make me a brother
to the usher
and the preacher
and the Sunday school teacher,
to the sleepy-eyed dudes
who snooze in the pews,
to the faithful attenders
and the salvation vendors

Hit me with a fire hose.
Make me a brother to all of those
who remember Selma in ‘63
and a dream they said could never be
and a King locked up in a Birmingham jail,
I want to march with them past the gates of hell,
with a song on my lips
and a fist in the air,
make me care
about freedom and justice and civil rights,
make me a brother to the other,
red and yellow, black and white –
bury me beneath the rubble of Sixteenth Street
with four little girls
Addie, Carole, Cynthia, and Denise.

Baptize me in the river Jordan.
Make me a brother to the Canaanites
who sleep behind a wall tonight
a brother to the alien,
legal and illegal alike,
a brother to Joshua, Jesus
and Jose,
a brother to the desperate man
trying to find a way
across the border,
crossing over
looking for the Promised Land,
help me to stand
with the ones who have wandered desert sands
from the Sinai to Arizona and everywhere in between
All: hold me down in water so cold it makes me wanna scream!

Baptize me in solidarity with the poor
the downsized and marginalized
the victimized and brutalized
the left out
the least
the last
the lost
the loser
and the loner

stick my head in a toilet
and pull the lever,
make me a brother of every little guy
who’s ever lost his lunch money
and then his pride,
let me be on the side
of the tiny and the picked on
curly-haired, swirly-scared kids of this world.

Baptize me in water
that celebrates the I in you
and you in me,
the us in Thee
and the one in three
because it takes
more than a village
it takes a head, hand,
eyes and ears,
Body of Jesus community
that beats with the
lub-dub
lub-dub
lub-dub
of our Abba's heart
and runs with the everliving blood
that flowed
from the hands and feet & side
of the Beloved
as he died;

Baptize me in black and poisoned British Petroleum water.
Baptize me with the jellyfish
and the smellyfish
and all the upside down – belly-up fish
make me go
down below
where the dolphin knows
that a gallon of gas
doesn’t cost
just two bucks –
make me a brother to the ducks
and the turtle
and the tern
help me learn
to love my neighbors
with fins and flipper feet.

Baptize me in confessing water.
Baptize me in reconciling water.
Make me a brother to both sides
of Dawson Auditorium;
in the name of Jesus Christ
let us declare a moratorium
on pretense and posing and puffer and pride,

because I come as I am
and so do you,
broken
battered
beaten and
bruised,
ugly
uncomfortable
unusually
used

I come with a burning
yearning to abide
in waters that
cleanse
create
consume
waters that
expose
the man beneath the satin suit
and academic robes

baptize me in ark rocking,
chaos riding,
olive branch and rainbow promise water

in Red sea splitting,
manna eating, milk and honey treating
leaving all things behind for 40 years of wondering water

baptize me in exiled Babylonian river water
in cloud splitting, heaven opening,
phenomenological phenom of a sprit dove descending
“This is my child do what he says,” water
thirst-quenching, life-giving woman at the well
spirit flowing from a pierced side
water poured from gold trimmed pages
broken open until every word is wet with wonder water

sprinkle me
splash me
dip me
dunk me
dowse me
drown me
pour me
plunge me
spew me
spray me

bring me to the water
take to the river
open up the fire hydrant
fill the kiddie pool

just baptize us now
We care don’t how!

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Powerful. What an amazing thing to read right before Andrew's baptism.

    ReplyDelete