Take Me to the Water

Scripture References

Introductory/Framing Text

This text has a spirit of eagerness and anticipation. The four stanzas guide the singers’ emotions on a journey: the desire to be united with Christ through baptism, the recognition of our unworthiness, the affirmation of our love for Jesus, and the need for a Savior. These elements highlight the communal aspects of a baptismal celebration.

Additional Prayers

A Prayer for Baptism
O God, my sins are smudging me.
Take me to the water.
Life has me hot and bothered.
Take me to the water.
I want to follow your people down into the Red Sea and up onto the shore.
Take me to the water.
I want to follow Jesus down into the Jordan River and up onto the bank.
Take me to the water to be baptized in Jesus’ name. Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

Tune Information

E♭ Major


Hymn Story/Background

An African-American spiritual, this song makes use of a recurring image in spirituals: the waters of the Jordan River. These waters are a metaphor for liberation, not only from oppression but from the bondage of earthly life in general. The ambiguous “water” mentioned in the opening phrase of the text might tap into a whole spectrum of metaphorical implications. The text summarizes the journey of those who come for baptism in a community that then also renews their own baptismal vows, together desiring to be united with Christ (st. 1), recognizing of our unworthiness (st. 2), affirming our love for Jesus (st. 3), and confessing that Jesus is our Savior (st. 4).
— Emily Brink
Hymnary.org does not have a score for this hymn.