by Pastor Janice Sutter
No, I’m not talking about your graduation from high school or the sentiment on a wedding card, even though that may apply.
I’m talking about baptism into the body of Christ! So whether you are contemplating baptism, been baptized a long time ago or are somewhere in between, here are some things to consider.
- You don‘t have to be perfect to be baptized. Far from it. God loves you just the way you are. In fact, God created you that way! God wants you to come the way you are.
- You are aware, even in some small way, that God’s Holy Spirit is at work in you, transforming you, empowering you to be more Christ-like. Baptism marks that you are beginning to notice this. As you continue on the Christian journey, you want this to happen more and more.
- You are aware that there are things that block your connection with God and with others, typically called sin. You notice these things and offer them to God, to be forgiven and healed, and then to walk in newness of life. This is something that happens many, many repeated times in the life of a Christian. Baptism imitates Jesus’ dying, being buried, and rising again. In baptism, we show our desire to die to the ways of sin and be raised to new life.
- In baptism, a believer becomes part of the worldwide body of Christ, and joins a particular local expression of the worldwide body, like the people at Kern Road Mennonite Church. Like any church, we are not perfect, and we don’t expect you to be perfect. Still, together we try to encourage one another as we follow Christ.
- There are three parties at work in baptism. Baptism celebrates God reaching out and loving you, and you responding to God’s love by taking action and being baptized, and the church affirming the faith of the believer and testifying to the work of God’s grace.
As we celebrate the baptism of three in our midst in the next few weeks, think about your own journey of faith. How is the Spirit at work transforming you? How are you tending your life of faith? How will you welcome and encourage these new believers?
Baptism begins a journey toward a personally owned and vital Christian faith. It recognizes that our faith is both a very personal inner experience and also something that is lived in the company of others for the good of God’s world.
This article originally appeared in the August Kernels monthly newsletter.