When I was in seminary, I was told that every passage of Scripture could point to baptism or communion. Any text could and should move the congregation towards one of these two sacraments.
Lila tells the story of a young woman, Lila Dahl—of her abandonment at birth, her wild upbringing among vagrants, and her eventual arrival in the small town of Gilead, Iowa, where she begins a relationship with the gentle pastor who would one day become her husband. It is a story of grace – divine and human – and of unconditional love.
It is one of the many paradoxes of suffering as a servant: it has the potential to make you stronger and more determined to keep going. Perhaps my epiphany on a flight to Senegal was not unlike Jesus’ view from the river after he went through the water with everyone else.
As we begin the season of Advent, consider that we are waiting not just for the Christ child, but also for his sacrifice as symbolized by the water of baptism.