Jesus taught that there is a fiesta in the heavenly realm every time a soul turns to God. The Lord wanted those around him to feel the joy of his own heart when others responded to the good news. Baptism signifies God’s grace of redemption, adoption, and new birth.
The celebration of baptism consists of more than mere form or setting. Sprinkling, pouring, immersing, are all traditional and accepted practices to administer this sacrament. Baptism can happen around a font in a church, our outdoors in a body of water. Which ever method and setting we choose, we should approach this sacrament with reverence, love, and joy.
This is the rite of Christian initiation, an outward sign on an inward and spiritual grace, the very work of conversion, new birth, regeneration.
Last Sunday, we were blessed to meet nine souls at the Medina River who desired Christian baptism. These had been meeting with Pastor Raquel for several weeks to learn about the Christian faith and the responsibilities of Christian discipleship. When offered the possibility of river baptism, they all decided to participate, even their small children.
Wearing the baptismal robes, one by one, each one waded with the ministers into the deeper part of the river. Hearing the words “I baptize you in the Name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” they were plunged down into the cold water for a moment and emerged to the spontaneous applause of fellow Christians and family members along the shore.
“The Holy Spirit work within you that you will become a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ.”
Dozens more drove out to accompany them, witness their faith, and share the gift of a picnic with their newest sisters and brothers in Christ.
The rest of the afternoon, we enjoyed fajitas, hot dogs, watermelon, desserts, and a pleasantly warm late afternoon in the beauty of God’s creation.