Image by woodleywonderworks via Flickr
My spouse received a birthday gift entitled Pa'a Kai/Cathedral Sermons Flavored by Hawai'i. It is a small book of memorable sermons sold in St. Andrew's Cathedral in Honolulu. I latched on to it at once and was giving the contents a look when, on Maui right now and surrounded by water, I turned to the sermon - Hula and the Water. I would not dream of taking credit for the thoughts that were voiced by Episcopal priest and author, the Reverend Moki Hino, but I hope by my crediting him and taking to heart his words he will not mind my sending his words to you, with perhaps a little of my own paraphrasing and environmental sermonizing. The Reverend Hino begins with a quote from Hawaiian storyteller and educator Winona Beamer.....
"What is the totality of the water, the water that was there at the beginning of creation? Where did the water in the (baptismal) font really come from? Did it not fall from the sky? Did it not evaporate into the air from a river, a lake, a stream, or an ocean?"
Reverend Hino continues, "What if the water goes back to the River Jordan, where John baptized Jesus, where the Holy Spirit anointed Him as the Messiah and set Him on his course of public ministry and ultimately to His death and His resurrection? What if the waters in our/the font began there, recycled themselves over and over, and come to us so that we can baptize new Christians into our fold? What if the water in our font is from the same source as the water in the Sea of Galilee on whose surface Jesus walked? Or what if the water in our font is from the Pool of Siloam where the blind man was healed? Or the water at the wedding at Cana where Jesus performed his first public miracle and turned it into wine? What if the water in our font is from the same source as the water from which Jesus thirsted on the cross?"
I depart now from Reverend Hino's thoughts with continued thoughts of my own....I would say that for me there is no question that the water we baptize, bathe in regularly, drink from daily, wash our cars in monthly is the water that came from God's divining and ultimately passed through Jesus' ministry. The water of this world is the same water we all drink, the same air we all breathe, the same water and air that we all pollute. The sustaining aspects of our lives that come as gifts to us from our Creator and gifts that in order for our planet to survive and for our great, great, great grandchildren to survive also, must be cared for by us NOW as stewards and children of God. It is the same water, it is hallowed water, water that we may take for granted in our everyday lives.
May we come to an abrupt departure from our careless habits of expectation that the water is and will always be there, plentiful in its quantity and blessed in is life-giving abundance. May we also come to bless its presence in our lives as clean, precious and life-giving and not as that which we take for granted to its eternal demise.......it's the same water, let us come to preserve it as though our lives and souls depended on it.
Have you ever thought about the "same" water globally or is this some off the wall set of comments that you think a little far-fetched? I would love to hear from you either way.