The 10-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks reminded us of the hate, death, and carnage that characterize our world. But it also provided signs of hope. At The Painted Door, our hope is new creation. Our hope is that because God himself entered history and was de-created for us on a cross, the whole world can now be re-created and restored to perfect peace.
We believe that re-creation has already begun, that it is breaking into our decaying world like light into a dark room. We see this light in the faces of forgiven people, lives transformed by the gospel of grace. The scriptures teach us that all those in Christ are new creations. That is, they have died to the old ways of selfishness that produce evil in the world and been reborn to a radical, joy-giving love of others.
The picture of this new birth is baptism, going down under the water and being washed of selfishness, washed of malice, washed of violence, washed of bitterness—and then being raised to new life in Christ. We had the privilege of baptizing 13 people on Sept. 11, including my sweet little 6-year-old, Fiona. It was a day of puddles, water splashing over smiling faces, tears of hope flowing freely from a crowd of witnesses, and those streams collecting together to cover the space in puddles of grace.