April 6, 2009
A Unique Moment of Baptismal Celebration
"If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17
Baptism is always a powerful time of celebration, worship, and remembrance for me. I never baptize without remembering my own baptism at the age of 8 years. I vividly recall each detail of that momentous moment. I remember Charles Langston, my pastor, asking if I had placed my faith in Christ Jesus and my affirmative response. I recall him gladly stating that because of my profession of faith he was baptizing me his "little brother" in the name of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit. I remember being plunged under the water and the thrill of being lifted again from the water. My life has never been the same. I was a believer before I was baptized and this event served to firmly fix this decision in my life.
Sunday morning I had the unusual pleasure of baptizing father and son together. They had both experienced baptism before but it was simply an exercise in getting wet. You see, they were not believers at the time they were first "dunked." The difference on this Sunday was not the quality of the water or the potency of any words this Shepherd spoke (as opposed to the words the pastor who had baptized them spoke), no, the difference was the condition of the heart of these men. On this day they entered these waters as new men; men who had placed their faith firmly and finally in Christ Jesus as their sole hope of salvation. What occurred in these moments of celebration, as they publicly professed their faith to those who were gathered, was a moment filled with spiritual potency and significance for all.
As each man rose from the waters applause erupted through the sanctuary in celebration of God's mighty and mysterious working in these lives. I am humbly grateful for the privilege of being present at such a moment.