Tuesday, 5 November 2013

What it's all about

Sunday was the best - a baptism service for two people in the congregation.  We had a packed church and a great service.  Quite apart from the boost that baptism gives to the people going under the water, the church gets a lift from it.  Because this is what it's all about for Christians (Baptists in particular?).  Seeing grown ups deciding that they want to take the plunge - as it were.  

You see, we don't christen or baptise babies or children, though we are happy to give thanks for them and pray for them.  We figure that it's something that kids need to make their own minds up about, and in due course, when they are old enough, we baptise them.  We use a lot of water too.  Maybe it says something of the extravagance of  grace.  

Came across a great passage from a children's book just last week about baptism and how wrong people can get it.  This is from the point of view of a child:

"I'd heard about Baptists from Jacob Henry's mother.  According to her, Baptists were a strange lot.  they put you in water to see how holy you were.  Then they ducked you under the water three times.  Didn't matter a whit you could swim or no.  If you didn't come up, you got dead and your mortal soul went to Hell.  But if you did come up, it was even worse.  You had to be a Baptist."  
Robert Newton Peck, "A Day No Pigs Would Die"

It's true we're a strange lot.  But surviving baptism doesn't make you a Baptist.  It's a public declaration that you have become a follower of Jesus - other denominations are available. Though, obviously, they aren't so good...  

A great day.  For all the things that we are involved in as a church - this is what it's all about.

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