It had been way too long. It took two years at my present position to reach this point, and I wish it had come sooner. True, delays by the Coronavirus were a factor. Yes, another option surfaced a few months ago, and we outsourced the location. But, last Sunday was the first time in two years it happened.
Now, this event wasn’t overly simple to pull off. First, there has to be someone willing to participate … someone who doesn’t care what the world says, they say, “Yes!” … someone who wants people to see them. And this past week, we had two such people.
Second, it takes a team to pull it off. Some to help the ones shouting out their witness. One to help me in the leading and explaining and such. Some to get all the resources in place. And at least one to spend time making sure the valuable resources are in the right place at the right time and not gone to waste.
And third, there has to be the right timing. A time people are their to witness and celebrate in the act … getting family and friends there too.
To what am I rattling on about? Two fine ladies, from two different generations, declared to the world that Jesus had saved them, that Jesus had forgiven them, and that Jesus was their Lord. These two wonderful spiritual sisters in Christ, shared the waters in baptism.
The event – the water filled the baptistery … the ladies participated in an immersion … and the world heard their actions shout boldly, and humbly.
The lesson – baptism by immersion shows us a powerful truth. It declares how those who are Christians have come to the place where we (our old ways, our desires, our preferences, our brokenness, our hopelessness) have been buried in Christ (submerged, like put into a grave, completely submerged meaning all of who we are) … and now we are raised with Christ (lifted out of the water, symbolizing out of hopelessness, brokenness, etc) into a new way of life. And that life has hope, joy, purpose, forgiveness. So shout it out!
The act doesn’t save you. The water doesn’t wash away the old ways, the broken, sinful ways. But it does shout out, picture, declare what has already been done through believing on the saving acts of Jesus.
Moving Forward – I pray you know the freedom, the forgiveness and the hope in Jesus. I hope you shout out to the world what He has done. And I hope it will not be so long between now and the next time we have to fill the baptistery.
For clarity, when I said valuable resource I was referring to the water. Our church is on well water, so to fill a baptistery takes might just mean the parsonage doesn’t have water for a shower tomorrow. But that’s a price I’m willing to pay. The truth is … the real valuable resource is the people. God loves people. And so do we!