Wow, what a crazy weekend! Not only did I have my high schoold graduation ceremony/party (and even an after-party) on Saturday, but today (Sunday) I was also baptized! Woot!
Now I've been a Christian for quite a few years, but baptism was something that, honestly, had always kinda creeped me out. The only reasons why it made me nervous were:
1. I didn't want to give my testimony in public because it isn't one of those "super cool conversion stories" (e.g., like those people who used to be drug addicts but then were touched by God while in jail and are now Christians). My testimony is, basically, that I accepted Jesus as my Savior after an AWANA meeting when I was eight, and then two-ish years later I recommited my life to Him during another AWANA meeting.
2. (And I know this sounds petty) I didn't want to get wet in public.
So those were the two reasons why I kept putting off baptism, kept telling myself that "Oh, I'll do it next time" but then never made good on that promise.
But lately my pastor has been talking about salvation, and baptism was mentioned quite a few times in his sermons. I started thinking about my reasons for not wanting to be baptized, and I realized that:
1. I don't need to be ashamed of my testimony. God still worked a miracle in my life by saving me from my sins, and I'm just as saved as the converted druggie. The converted druggie's story may be touching, but that doesn't mean that my conversion was any less real or touching.
2. I get wet in public every time I go to the pool, so lame excuse there.
3. It's, what, five minutes of my life? Put that into perspective of the rest of your life. It's not that long to be dripping wet.
4. As a Christian, I am called to publicly show my faith in and my allegiance to God, and I do that by being baptized. Why should I be ashamed of following God's commands? Besides, getting wet is absolutely nothing compared to the persecution that so many other Christians face around the world. If standing up for my faith and showing that God is my King means getting wet or even getting killed, then I'll do it.
So, with those thoughts in mind, I decided once and for all that I was going to follow God's call for me and be baptized. Sure, the water was kinda cold and I was a little nervous about the whole thing, but you wanna know what? I'm so glad I did it, and as I look back on my life I find myself wondering why I put it off this long. I put off my baptism all because of a bunch of excuses and self-conscious, prideful fears. But now that I have been baptized, I feel very much at peace, knowing that I followed God, and I can't wait to see where He will lead me for the rest of my life.
In light of this baptismal day (my little brother and another brother in Christ were also baptized with me), I decided that the Verse for the Week will be the story of Jesus' baptism. Now, being fully God, Jesus was perfect, never sinned, and didn't need to be baptized like we do, but by being baptized He set an example for all of His followers. Now, over two thousand years later, Christians are still following Christ's example by being baptized after conversion.
"Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented Him, saying, 'I need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?' But Jesus answered him, 'Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.' Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptized, immediately He went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He was the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on Him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, 'This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well please.'" - Matthew 3:13-17 (ESV).
- Edessa, your baptized blogger, signing off