The image above appeared beside the article “The Church and Recovery,” in the February 2017 issue of Living Lutheran. It is a unique baptismal font at Common Ground Recovery Ministry based in Wyomissing, PA.
The shattered pieces of glass used in the design of the font represent “booze, bottles, glass syringes and other paraphernalia that separated us, not only from God, but also from all that sustains life,” according to the ministry. The light blue cross represents the waters of baptism in which we are all washed clean and given new life in Christ.
I was moved by this wonderful symbol of how our old, sinful selves are reformed and made new through baptism and our new place in God’s kingdom as his sons and daughters.
It reminds me too that things like addiction and alcoholism and drug abuse are not things that are beyond the scope of the Church and of our embrace as the body of Christ. These are very real issues that brothers and sisters in Christ as dealing with, and we should not keep those who are suffering from these conditions in the shadows or at arm’s length.
After all, the Church is all about recovery—recovery from the ravages of sin, in whatever form they may take in our lives. There are not any situations that are beyond the reach of God’s love and forgiveness, care and help.
On the cross the darkness of every addiction, every abuse, every bondage was destroyed, drowned, done away with through the blood of Christ.
The Bible puts it this way: When the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior” (Titus 3:4-6).
It is in baptism that the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit takes place. And as the Bible says, “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4).
That newness of life can occur for us every day as we daily drown our sins and are restored through our baptism. God’s recovery program is found in the font. Let us remember that every time we pass by the font in our parish and let us be ready to bring those in need of recovery of any kind to the knowledge of new life in Christ.
As the Bible reminds us, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Let recovery begin today.