This week at church was Baptism week. They’ve been talking about it for several weeks now, but I had forgotten about it. So, when we sat down Sunday morning and they mentioned that it was ‘the day’, I was a little disappointed. I know, you’re probably asking yourself how I could be disappointed when others are getting baptized. Well, I’ll admit, I was baptized at the age of 12. I did it out of obedience, that is the next step. However, it was not all that. I didn’t feel as if it was anything special, it wasn’t a big milestone in my life. So, I expected this service of watching baptisms to be no different. Boy, was I wrong!
The service began with our pastor, on video, talking a little about how the church began and where, how they moved, and how God then moved in the body, and how they were seeing people coming to the Lord and being baptized. He said they probably had more people baptized in one service in their new location than they had in the last five years at their old property! So the church leaders knew that they had heard God correctly and that the move was good.
Throughout his talk, I had teared up. Now, I will admit I do cry easily and that tears are not unusual for me, but I was surprised all the same. However, I really became overwhelmed with emotion once the first Baptizee (a new term I just came up with!) took the stage. She was a young lady, Chinese, who was speaking about how her family grew up as Buddhists, that her mom had to leave the country (due to the one child law), to give birth to the young woman’s little brother for a year, and upon their return to China the family had to pay a tax for him! I started crying and I just couldn’t stop. Hearing how her life was touched, how God provided a way for her to come to America and learn of Him….on and on it went as each person came, either speaking via video or live, telling their stories.
We watched each one get baptized, not just by the pastor (though he did for some) but by family members and friends, with a stage filled with other friends, family, pastors. It was a celebration for each person who had made the decision to be baptized, following God’s call on their life to be obedient to His word.
It was the single most beautiful service I have ever experienced aside from my own wedding!
So not only did I get to share in a celebration with fellow Christ-followers, but God was able to show me what a special thing baptism really is. The experience makes me wish that I had experienced the love, the intentionality, of such a ceremony at my own baptism.
But even more than that, it makes me want to experience such beauty with my own children, with my friends. It truly was a celebration, and I will never be disappointed by the thought of watching a Baptism again. How precious it is to be Baptized in Jesus’ name!