about this weekend…

I have seen some wild, weird, and just plain funny baptisms.

Growing up I had a front row seat to some wet and wild Sunday mornings.  They HAD to give even God a smile.  There was the man baptized with his newly-purchased toupee.  This embarrassed poor soul came up and out of the water with his “dead rat” floating.  He quickly grabbed the fur and awkwardly placed it back on his shiny head.  The reverent “amens” were overcome by uncontainable giggles from the congregation.

Vivid imagery shoots through my mind as I remember a reluctant older woman who demonstrated her faith through a WWF baptism.  She was a larger woman who fought the pastor all the way.  During the dunking process, a leg would shoot up and out of the water.  Up for a good challenge in his hip high wader boots, the pastor grabbed the rogue leg and pushed it under.  With that, an arm shot up.  When the resistant arm was grabbed and forced under, the other leg shot up and into the cold, church air.  I’ve never seen such huge waves in the baptismal ever!

Our baptistry, during one stretch of amazing, 1970’s church architecture, had a glass front.  It was an aquarium for buried sin.  It could have used a few tropical fish to make things really interesting.  One anxious man walked down into the waters from the right, and after his baptism, walked up the left side to exit a side door.  That door was locked.  Instead of waiting until the other baptisms were done, this dude made a swim for it.  The entire church saw an underwater turtle swim from a freshly redeemed soul just wanting to get to the dressing room in the quickest way possible!

I’ve also seen many powerful baptisms.  I’ve had an up close view of emotional fist pumps, gentle tears, heavy sobbing, dads embracing a child, spouses hugging ever so tightly, and paused closed eyes deliberately soaking in the reality of being buried in Jesus.

What does baptism mean to you?  For many, the practice is cause for argument, disunity, and missing the point.  Why is that?  Baptism is such a powerful, meaningful, Biblical sacrament.

On Sunday, we’ll be continuing our new EPIC series.  Our text is Mark 1:4-13.  I’m wondering if perhaps we need a new perspective or healthier, Biblical reminder of what baptism is all about.  What is the real power behind baptism?  The elders, staff, and I are praying for a supernatural movement of God as we gather at 8:30 & 10:30.   Bring a friend… and maybe a towel.


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