Friday, July 02, 2010

My Baptism...

I've decided to be baptised.

When I was five years old, I went forward during the altar call and gave my young life to Jesus.  I imagine that I did so for all of the reasons that a five-year-old would contemplate.  I loved Jesus.  I wanted to go to Heaven.  I wanted God to be pleased with me.  I wanted to make my mom and dad proud of me.

I don't really remember much about the day that I walked down the isle to take my dad by the hand.  I know that he had recently decided to become a pastor.  I know that it was early in his ministry.  I know that he was asking for people to come forward and that something in my heart said to go.  I'm certain that he prayed a prayer with me--though I don't actually remember.

I also don't remember being baptized but I know that it happened.  In fact, I was the first person that my father ever baptized.  I know because I possess the preaching Bible that my dad used in those days and my mom carefully wrote the names and dates of baptisms, weddings, and funerals in the front of that Bible.  My name appears first.

Much has happened in my spiritual journey and I have often considered being baptized again.  I've had mountain-top experiences at camps and retreats.  I encountered God in a transformational way in high school.  My call to ministry came following high school graduation.  I accepted my first church staff position the summer before my senior year in college.  I have suffered through the barren wastelands of life and I have also thrived in the lush gardens that life provides.  However, nothing compares to the journey that I have taken over the past nine months.  I truly feel like I have been rebirthed--given a new life--and I have for the first time really begun to live.  And so, I have decided to be baptized.

On Sunday morning, July 4th, I will talk about the biblical concept of "Freedom".  I'll describe my own journey to find that freedom.  And then I will ask my church to baptize me.  The old Dave has truly died and a brand new man has come into existance through the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  And so, even as I was the first to be baptized by my father some 40 years ago, I will now also be the first to be baptized by Grace River Church.  To the Glory of God!

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