St Mary Magdalene † St Bartholomew † St Alban †
Sunday 16th January 2011
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
Last week I tried to tell a joke in church. Always a mistake. Fred and I have yet to displace Morecombe and Wise as the comedy double act. This week we start the week of prayer for Christian Unity so I thought I would try again:
There was once an Anglican and Baptist minister having a heated discussion about Baptism.
The Anglican asked the Baptist if he considered a person baptised if he were immersed in water up to his chin.
No, said the Baptist.
What about if the person was immersed up to his nose, asked the Anglican.
Again the Baptist's answer was no.
Well surely he must be baptised if you immerse him up to his eyebrows, the Anglican said desperately.
The Baptist replied, that he didn't seem to understand.
The person must be immersed completely in water and only then would he be truly baptised.
That's what I've been trying to tell you all along, said the Anglican, it's only a little water on the top of the head that really counts.
I am always a bit sceptical of weeks of this and that.
It seems to me there has been very little progress over many years surrounding Christian Unity. So this theme needs all our prayers this week. But at least we do have a common recognition of Baptism across the different Christian denominations.