Sometimes I think we find it easier to imagine that our baptism was some curiosity of our personal past, that it was something that happened, it’s over with, and we move on; or that we don’t grasp the level of depth of what it really means that we have been baptized.
Can we really categorize the segments of our life, like a pie chart, and in our religious, Christian pie section we have been baptized, but the rest of us remains less than wet? When we were baptized, it was not that just we were baptized, but that the whole of everything we are was baptized.
We were not merely baptized in the moment, but baptized in the whole, our past, present and future were all brought together, in a holy moment, all our dreams and our ambitions, all our sins and our failures, all the possibilities, all the potential that lay before us, every sphere of who we are, every area of interest, every last bit of us was buried beneath and within the Sacrament, and the rock was rolled over, and it sealed us within. Grace buried itself deep within us, a life transplant was made, we died, and as the rock was rolled away, we came out of the joyous mystery something different than we were when it had begun.
We are baptized.
That’s what we are, it’s not just a curiosity of a past moment, but an enduring and irrevocable reality, we can no more become unbaptized than we can become unborn.
The whole of ourselves, with all our problems, weaknesses, dreams, ambitions, interests, hobbies and ideas was brought down into the sacred waters with us.
So can we really live a life of discipleship thinking our baptism only applies to a single sphere of our being? Rather the whole of ourselves was baptized, we are baptized.
There’s a reason why for hundreds of years a baptized person would take upon themselves a new name, it symbolized that in their baptism they were a new person, a “new creation” as St. Paul says. While I was not baptized in a tradition that kept alive that tradition, I sometimes wish I could have taken upon myself a baptismal name, though it’s been quite a few years since that day.
In some sense, perhaps because I’ve used it for so long, I’ve come to see “Xristocharis” (Christocharis) as less than a cool looking moniker, but a name embodying what I long to become in Christ, that is, in a sense, a baptismal name. If I could adopt for myself a baptismal name, it’s likely I would choose Xristocharis to be that name.
Our name, our identity, our very being and self was baptized.
I stand baptized, my whole identity bound in Christ, every part of me captive to Him. Every sphere of being in which I operate as a person is Christian, baptized in Christ, crucified to the world, dead and alive.
I’m not sure there can be any other way. I am baptized, I stand before the world today, baptized. It’s what I am, it’s all I can ever be, it’s all I want to be.