Sunday morning promises to be amazing. Five people will be witnessing to their faith in Jesus Christ in Believer’s Baptism. I LOVE baptising people: it is one of the privileges and highlights of being a Minister (there are a lot!). It’s not so much the physical act of baptising someone, although the child in me likes the idea of dunking someone, but what it represents.
Believer’s Baptism is a public statement of what we believe: you can’t really do it in private.
It is an affirmation of faith in Jesus who died, was buried and rose again, enacted with water.
It is an act of obedience – Jesus told us to baptise those who have become disciples of his.
It is a spiritual landmark that we can look back on and remember with joy.
And it is so much more.
On Sunday two of the candidates have asked if we can sing ‘Amazing Grace’. Abso-woohoo-luteley!
That hymn encapsulates so much of what is special about Baptism, what is unique about Jesus and what it means to be a follower of his:
AMAZING GRACE! how sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me; I once was lost, but now am found, Was blind, but now I see. ’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fears relieved; How precious did that grace appear, The hour I first believed! Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come; ’Tis grace that brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home. The Lord has promised good to me, His word my hope secures; He will my shield and portion be As long as life endures. Yes, when this heart and flesh shall fail, And mortal life shall cease, I shall possess within the veil A life of joy and peace. When we’ve been there a thousand years, Bright shining as the sun, We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise Than when we first begun.
John Newton, who wrote the hymn, had been involved in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade when he had a powerful experience of God. He became aware of his own guilt, sin and shame, and yet God’s amazing grace broke through that to transform him, to give him a hope and a future.
I am acutely aware of my own regular need of God’s amazing grace and know that what our five friends will share on Sunday will demonstrate how they have received and experienced it too. It’s free, it’s freely available and it’s for you.
Be blessed, be a blessing.
And if you’re in Colchester on Sunday morning you’re welcome to join us at 1030 to see for yourself!
Lessons best not learnt the hard way:
You can’t baptise cats.
Sucking lemons makes your face turn inside out.
The fridge light does go out when the door’s closed.
If a tree falls on you in the forest when there’s no-one else around, you will make a sound.