Lutheran Church Extension Fund

Baptismal Wellbeing Is the Power of WE!

Reading time: less than 3 minutes. Perichoresis_Andrej_RublëvI once was asked on a theology test: “Explain the Trinity.  Use the words essence and substance.”  Fortunately the professor only left room for about 50 words on the test paper.  I’m sure my answer was pathetic. I wish I’d known about “perichoresis.”  Not to impress the instructor, of course.  Well, maybe just a little.  Perichoresis is a term the ancient Greek Fathers used to describe the relationship of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  It literally can mean “dance around” (get it… “Peri” like perimeter + “Choresis” as in choreography).   Some say the Greek dance involving at least three dancers, weaving in and out of one another inspired the Fathers to say, “That’s what the Trinity is like!” What a wonder that in the grace of baptism, you and I have been invited to join in the dance! I imagine my professor would have liked me to use a fancy phrase like “reciprocal inherence” to explain the amazing wonder of the perfect love and union of the Father, Son and Spirit, but I like “dance.”  I think we need more dancing.  (One study suggests regular dancing can reduce levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, but that’s a topic for my physical wellbeing blog). Greek dancingWe need more dancing because we too often feel alone, and it’s hard to dance alone.  That would be sad, like bowling alone.  We know that loneliness is epidemic among pastors and their wives, as well as among other church workers.  Pastors often feel, “I’m everyone’s friend, but I have no friends.” As I work my way around The Lutheran Wellness Wheel again over the next eight weeks, we’ll focus on what Dr. Dave Ludwig, our long time retreat director, beautifully describes as “The Power of WE.” From the Bible’s first verse where we find only God in the eternal, Triune dance, to the last chapter where WE are gathered with God in endless fellowship, The Power of WE is an enduring theme. For all who are baptized, the WE began when our lost union with God was restored by the cleansing waters.  The waiting Father ran to us with His loving embrace, the Risen Christ entered our lives as the Holy Spirit was poured out and we became His dwelling place.  It’s a mystery, a joy and a great comfort. And the gift of dancing in the love of God is an ever present reality for those who are the new creation in Christ. Having a bad day?  Luther reminds us that baptismal renewal is my daily gift.  Not sure how to Baptismal_shellhandle a stressful situation?  Well, be sure of this: you need not handle it alone!  That’s old creation thinking!  Pause.  Refresh.  Renew.  “Lord, have mercy.”  “God’s own child, I gladly say it: I am baptized into Christ!” (LSB 594).  Remember that you are not alone.  Wrapped in the loving embrace of God, you will dance together through every trial and ordeal. That’s baptismal wellbeing, to know the abiding, empowering presence of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Enjoy your dance today. Thanks for reading. Do you serve on a professional church worker conference planning committee?  Our staff has vast experience leading groups of all sizes from every church work background through innovative wellness programs custom designed to meet your needs.  Contact Program Director Darrell Zimmerman today to begin exploring the possibilities or visit our website to see some of our ideas for your conference!