Today was such a special day! Alex and Maggie were baptized today and we as parents are so proud of the relationship we see each of them forming with Christ. Someone this morning asked me if I knew what the age limit was for baptism. I said I didn’t and she asked me how I decided when they could be baptized. I told her it was when they came to me and asked to be baptized. Both Alex and Maggie asked Jesus into their hearts a few years ago now but it wasn’t until now that they have truly understood the meaning of baptism. When the pastor a few weeks ago announced there would be a baptismal service, pharm Alex leaned over and whispered to me that he’d like to get baptized. While talking with him one evening about what that meant and making sure he truly understood Maggie listened too and said she also wanted to be baptized. We’ve spent the last few weeks reinforcing their desire to be baptized by talking about their decision.
If you read this and are wondering about why we baptize them now instead of as infants, let me explain. We believe baptism is an outward expression of an inward change. It is how we declare our Christianity in a physical way after accepting Jesus as our Savior and the Son of God. We believe that baptism represents a death and rebirth – as your body goes under the water it is a burial of the “old self”, the part of us that seeks to primarily please ourselves. When you are brought back out of the water it represents our new birth in Christ, the new person who has committed themselves to live for God.
The service today was incredible! I think Pastor John said something like 15 people signed up to be baptized, but at the end of the group that had signed up he said that if anyone who had heard his sermon, which was on baptism, and had accepted Christ as their Savior, desired to be baptized that they could come forward. A couple of people came up to the front. As they were being baptized a few more came up and the line was continuously refilled with more and more people wanting to make that declaration. Some were brand new to the church within the last month and said they had found Jesus just recently. Others had been away for some time and were recommitting their lives to Christ and starting new. When Alex and Maggie went up they were the only children who went up, but several kids their age went up during the service wanting to be baptized.
It was just incredible the response. At least the people who had signed up had come ready in clothes with towels and clothes to change into, but the people who were moved to that decision during service came up in their street clothes. It was an amazing sight as people were recycling towels and pulling blankets out of the nursery and anywhere they could find them to help the people dry off afterwards. My words cannot explain the excitement and awe of God’s power in that service today. The only word I can think of to describe the whole morning is powerful! As Wendy, the pastor’s wife, said, “This is one of those services we’ll be talking about for a long time…and then we’ll get to heaven and talk about it some more!”