These last two Sundays have been no different.
Six different members of our church, all of them also students, were baptized publicly. It was so moving to hear their stories… especially as a handful of them “found” Christ on their own, later in life… even though they were being raised by missionaries! It’s not a “new” story, but it’s one that we got to hear first-hand.
Their testimonies of faith ranged from “God protected me from a ‘dramatic’ testimony and I’ve loved and followed him since I was four years-old,” to “I couldn’t see any more reasons for living… but my teacher and my roommate continued to encourage me… and now I get it.” Each story was so deep and meaningful, painful and redemptive, sorrow turned to joy, lost-ness turned to advocating the cross… so powerful.
Equally touching to hear the way every-day people in their lives made life-changing impact… dorm families, roommates, teachers… an encouragement to us, that in whosever life we are walking, to tread carefully and truthfully.
A really special part of the service was that each worship song before the baptism was chosen by the one being baptized. I must say, it was the best service for musical worship ever. Well, at least according to my personal taste. 🙂
As if that weren’t enough, the father’s of those being baptized (baptizee?) often spoke a word of affirmation and either did the baptizing or were right there for it. The mother then wrapped her child in a towel or two, led the family to the podium, and ended with more words of affirmation and prayer. OH sings my soul! To have that kind of love and affirmation within a family must be so uplifting and encouraging. No wonder these kids were making their proclamation! They’d seen much lived out before them… and they had caught what they’d been taught.
Oh, that our own children would choose this public profession of their faith someday, allowing us to speak affirmation over their pasts, presents, and futures! Until then, we pray that we can live out the life that we want them to catch.