“So many things in God’s creation do we often take for granted; yet, when reflecting on them we marvel at even the most simple things and how it is that the Master Craftsman could create with such beauty and perfection. And so it is with the element of water. To pause for even a moment, one is astonished at what a blessing water is. Not only is it essential for all living things, but it has the beautiful added ability of cleansing. We get a little something on our clothing—a quick dab of water and it vanishes! Even if we get ourselves and our clothing completely muddy, we simply wash it away and all becomes clean again.

At the time of the Flood, the Creator of All used water to wash the whole world of sin. This became a “type,” as is the case of so many Old Testament images, to establish in the mind the cleansing power of water. Thus, it was absolutely fitting that the holy Baptist called forth the people to come to the water to repent, to be baptized and cleansed in preparation for the coming of the Lord. When our pure and spotless Saviour, in His great humility, went down into the water, He sanctified the water in an eternal act, and inaugurated the way for all Christians—physically and mystically—to be washed, cleansed of sin and thus begin a new life in Christ… By His baptism, our Lord thus elevated the marvelous physical characteristic of water s cleansing ability and made it the means, through Christian baptism, for something yet greater, something sublime and divine. As St. Theophan the Recluse wrote, ‘Baptism gives us what nothing else on earth can give us: It unites and combines with our natural divine grace…. That is the difference between a person who has been baptized, and one who has not. The difference is that the grace of the Holy Spirit’.”

– St Paisius Monastery newsletter