According to my Weather Channel app on my phone, the high today is 78 and the low is 62. The Weather Channel app also says that it’s currently 81 degrees out (at 8:45 AM with 61% humidity feels like 83, at 8:45 AM) and an 80% chance of rain. It also says that the pollen count for trees and grass is high and weeds is low. Joy. Glad that the weed pollen is low because that’d totally ruin my day.
You see, I’m suffering from the perfect storm of annoyance. And not just the typical loose a sock in the dryer annoyance. I’m talking about the down right, sneezing your head off until your eyes pop out of your head annoyance.
It started sometime Saturday (or was it Friday, or Thursday, all the sneezing I’ve lost count). And it’s just continued on and on world without end. Sunday morning, as I was driving to church to prepare to preach, I started sneezing repeatedly. No Kleenex either. Right into the passenger side foot well (so not looking forward to cleaning that up–I know, I know, TMI). I got to my office at church, Starbucks coffee in hand (there’s one on my way to church, I stopped there way too much) and sneezing my eye balls out of my head. It’s hard to prepare to bring God’s word when snot keeps flying out of your nose.
And then, soon, it ended. I was fine. Until after church when I started sneezing again (maybe God gave me a stay of execution, I don’t know but I’m thankful). Someone told me “It looks like it might rain today, if so, that’d wash all the pollen away. If only, if only.
Ah, yes, pollen, the spores of weeds, flowers, grass, and trees. My car is covered with all those wonderful little sneeze inducing things. They’ve colonized on my Dodge Avenger and I’m waiting for them to rise up like the colonies did in 1776.
Rain is in the forecast today as well. Sweet, sweet rain to wash my troubles away. Sweet, sweet water from heaven to cleanse the air and give me a brief moment of not frakin sneezing. Rain. Sweet, sweet rain. I so want it to come and wash it all away. Cleanse it all. Make it fresh again.
Paul writes something interesting in 1 Corinthians:
“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God?…And that’s what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9,11
Washing has always been a sign of cleansing. All throughout the Bible (both the Old and New Testaments) washing meant that you were cleansed. Washing meant that you were clean. All things that hindered you were now gone. And when John the Baptist (he baptized people, he wasn’t part of the Southern Baptist Convention) came baptizing people in the Jordan River, he talked about having sins washed away.
In fact, being cleansed with water in baptism became the sign and seal of salvation. Just as the water washes away the dirt, the grime, and the pollen, it also shows that the Holy Spirit washes away our sins that inhibit us from coming before God.
Paul writes in Romans 6
“Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Romans 6:3-4
Dying. Rising. Living. Cleansing. Rebirth. All wrapped up in water.
As I sneeze my head off waiting for my eye balls to pop out of their sockets, each time I snart (sneeze and fart at the same time, again TMI) I want that sweet, sweet cleansing rain.
I’ve been washed. I’ve been cleansed by Jesus’ death. As he died, so I died too. As he rose again, so I rise again in new life in him. All shown through baptism. And I am new. I am cleansed. And I have this sign of my faith and salvation in him and I know it is sealed up in him. I have no worries. I have no fears. Life still sucks sometimes (ah-hem, allergies anyone?) yet I know this one thing for sure. I am his.
And so I wait for the sweet, sweet rain to fall where everything is bearable. And there in the still, all that you feel is tranquility (okay, a nod to Depeche Mode there). I know in the rain, I will be fine. I know in my baptism, I am alive. I sneeze, I snart, and when the rain comes, I will live. And I am alive now in Jesus through his death and rising again, which I am connected to through Baptism. Ah-choo!