As this coming Sunday is the Feast of the Baptism of The Lord, adding “Baptized” by Lenny Kravitz to The Jukebox Hero Hymnal seems like a no-brainer. Lenny was born to a Jewish father and a Christian mother who, like many parents with differing religious backgrounds, raised their child in a non-religious environment. These days, though, Kravitz publicly identifies as a Christian, most notably through a tattoo on his back which proclaims, "My heart belongs to Jesus Christ." He also made news a few years ago with his public vow to remain celibate until he remarried (which just goes to show how screwed up sexually this world is that such a declaration was actually news). Give all this, it’s no surprise to find his faith creeping into his work.
Like many songs, “Baptized” can be interpreted on a number of levels. Of course, the tune can be taken as a simple love song to a woman, and it works perfectly fine that way. But the Christian undertones are just as obvious…
I need a love that takes me higher
So high I'm never coming down
I don't want to know emptiness
Take me down to the water
Wanna be baptized in your love
Far away from the loneliness
Take my heart and wash away the fear
Let me be baptized in your love
And why shouldn’t Lenny crave such an experience? In his 2013 homily for the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Pope Benedict XVI said of the happiness that comes with beng baptized, “It is the joy that comes from knowing you have received a great gift from God – the faith – a gift that none of us have merited, but that has been freely given and to which we have responded with our ‘yes.’ It is the joy of recognizing ourselves as children of God, of discovering that we have been entrusted into His hands, to know that we are welcomed into a loving embrace, in the same way that a mother supports and embraces her child.” Who wouldn’t want that?
“Now, why delay? Get up and have yourself baptized and your sins washed away, calling upon his name.” (Acts 22:16, NABRE)