Didache - Chapter 7

7 Concerning Baptism

7:1 Concerning baptism, you should baptize this way: After first explaining all things, baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in flowing water.

7:2 But if you have no running water, baptize in other water; and if you cannot do so in cold water, then in warm.

7:3 If you have very little, pour water three times on the head in the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit.

7:4 Before the baptism, both the baptizer and the candidate for baptism, plus any others who can, should fast. The candidate should fast for one or two days beforehand.

Here, like most of the other parts of the Didache, is something very practical. Nothing dogmatic, just simple thought-out instruction. “When you baptize someone, use flowing water. If you don’t have flowing water, that’s okay. Use ‘other water’ and let it be cold. If you don’t have cold water, then warm water’s fine.” Like the previous chapter, you can hear the underlying thought, “Do what you can.”

I also like the point of fact that the Teaching recognizes that the students will be baptizing other people! Isn’t that interesting? When was the last time you baptized someone? This is something that we’ve passed of the the “preacher.” “That’s his job,” we say (it’s always a male in these situations). But here, the Teaching is clear that students will be baptizing, i.e., anyone can. To me, that’s the most glaring piece in this chapter. How much has changed in our religious experiences! How much of our journey have we left to others to do? That is, how much of our responsibilities have we given over to clergy? I would say a lot of it. It’s time we reclaim those things.

In the Love of the Three in One,

Br. Jack+, LC


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