Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Baptism By The Bay

I didn’t fully understand the term “cloud of witnesses” until three weeks ago. I found myself wading in the Chesapeake Bay in front of a crowd of a few hundred explaining myself. Not because I had to, but because I wanted to -- and that is what made all the difference.

I truly believe this was a divine moment. I believe God had brought together a series of events, all colliding and crashing to intersect at that one moment when I could rejoice with my church family: I love Jesus. Could God’s orchestrations be any more beautiful? I’m sure I have only the faintest idea.

If you’ve known me for most of my life, you know that I grew up Catholic. So to respond to your first statement (“But you’ve already been baptized!”), I will say this: I have been baptized, First-Communion-ed and Confirmed. But what is most important is the journey, not the checklist. Getting re-baptized was a re-affirmation of my devotion – of my recognition of how broken I am. That is all.

But what is a spiritual journey? I think it means wading through the questions, and realizing there are still more questions – more than can possibly be answered. For me, choosing to (re)baptized meant talking the talking – since I was already walking the walk! That said, being baptized does not make me any holier than the next person.

My decision to be baptized was a long-awaited decision. God had been nudging me to make this public declaration ever since I came to Christ in 2006. But my college years made me a church vagabond – splitting time between campus ministries or bible studies, hopping in and among the Greek life community and life as a Resident Assistant.

But after getting plugged into National Community Church last fall, I couldn’t have been more blessed to know that I would soon return to the capital (no, not the Capitol) just 4 months later.

So Baptism By the Bay was my opportunity to profess to my friends, to myself and to God … the cloud of witnesses – my friends, mentors and church family - looked on as I waded through the water. The water had reached past my waist when Pastor Mark held my shoulder (and I plugged my nose) and dunked me. The awesome media team captured every moment (thanks, guys!).

How great is love the father has lavished upon us that we should be called the sons and the daughters of God?

I mean, really?

By the way, Stephen Elliot is an excellent photographer and deserves oodles of credit for documenting more than 25 baptisms that day!


student aid said...

Ohhhhhhhhh this is really very nice bathing in sea I like this thanks for shearing me.

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