Baptism---Mom's point of view
First, let me backtrack---give background, I mean. I figure some of my readers will not do baptisms quite this way at their church or not hold baptism as THE monumental turning point of life as we do in our church. We don't baptize babies, nor do we wait until a child is a certain age and baptize all the kids at church on one special Sunday. We don't sprinkle with water, we immerse the whole person in water. We hold to the New Testament examples such as Phillip and the Ethiopian (Acts 8:26-39), and the household of Lydia (Acts 16:13-15). As soon as you know you need Jesus as your Savior, you repent and be baptized. You stand before the church and confess to all that you also believe that Jesus was God's son. You do it right away!
So here's J, my oldest child, who's got a rebellious spirit, a "something" inside him that has always made him do what he wants to do, and resent it if you tell him to do what he doesn't want to. A strong will. To say the least. Ha!
But here he is on Saturday night, telling his Dad that he wants to be baptized, with tears in his eyes. I'm laughing and crying myself! So happy, adn so unsure that I have really taught him everything---which is crazy because I know I'm 24 years older than him, and I know I don't know all of it myself! Excited and scared all at the same time.
Sunday morning, I'm all aflutter. I'm waiting for the Invitation Song offered after every sermon. And there he goes, up to the front with Larry. I'm shaking and I have the camera. Larry takes his confession down front, in front of the congregation, and then they get ready in the back. Larry goes into the baptismal at the front of our auditorium, and he made all the mommies cry, talking about how he had thought about this moment from the time he carried J to the nursery right after birth. (snapping the first picture) Then Larry lowers him into the water and raises him up (snapping the second picture).
The reason I'm so shocked is that he's 11. I alwas think people will do things the way I did. (I am crazy, I know!) I waited and angonized about being baptized until I was 16 almost. I knew what I needed to do when I was 12. I waited and waited because I am so shy I did not want to go down front and stand in front of everyone. I remember SO MANY Sunday nights the song leader would lead the song, "Oh, Why Not Tonight." Indeed!! The lyrics that come to mind go like this:
Our blessed Lord refuses none who would to Him their souls unite. Believe obey the work is done! Be saved, oh, tonight!
I chuckle about this now, but I was paralyzed for 4 years of Sunday nights! Finally, my sister thought she was ready to be baptized, so I went up to church on a Tuesday afternoon, in front of almost no one. I cried the whole time, from home to preacher's office, to underwater. I think I cried with relief, but also with sorrow I had waited for no good reason.
J. I'm so proud of him. It probably was no coincidence that this happened when he is preparing for LTC Bible Bowl, and what's the book of the Bible they're doing this year? Acts. The book about the beginnings fo the church. No coincidence that our preacher has been going over Luke on Sunday mornings, talking about how the Jews time after time rejected Jesus and didn't take him up on the offer of eternal life. In all things God works for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). All these things working together.
It wasn't me. I didn't plan this out! But I was a part of it. So cool! So many people were a part of this. We're so interconnected, and it's all because of God sewing us together.
I thank you for reading all these things in my brain. I am overwhelmed with joy, and can't describe the feelings I have completely. But this was a start.