Baptism as remembering
Posted on December 8, 2010 by VMMissions Staff
I attended a baptismal service again recently. Four members of the Daniel family went “under the water” as the pastor put it. Father, mother, and two sons all gave verbal witness to their faith in Jesus Christ and accepted the sacrament and sign of baptism in the presence of God and a company of people. Some of this company had followed this path earlier. Others, not yet. The pastor reminded us all of the significance of this bold step of faith. Steve, Saffia, Levi and Joshua are now united with Jesus Christ and united with his Body. We ended with communion. The Daniel family was served first.
For those of us who have already taken this step, baptism is a service of reminder. David Yoder shared a message, “A Journey with Jesus.” We were reminded of the radical step of faith we take when we freely offer our faith and allegiance to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. We were reminded that we now belong to Jesus. We also belong to Jesus’ Body, the church. Now, the Daniel family is a part of the Body of Christ. Put another way, they are now my brothers and sister just as surely and fully as all other Christians. Furthermore, in this world, this membership in Christ’s Body surpasses all other attachments and affiliations that we have. The Bible calls it citizenship.
I remembered my own baptism 47 years ago. I didn’t understand everything but enough to know that the faith of my fathers and mothers was not simply something to be absorbed by association, but by deliberate conviction and decision. So it was that I too followed a road less traveled and, as Robert Frost once put it, “that has made all the difference.” I have had no regrets.
These recent baptisms served as a reminder in one more way. Twenty-one years ago, two of my own children made their own baptismal vows in this same church, at this very spot. It was a moving experience to witness the continuing faithfulness of Diego Martin Mennonite Church in Trinidad and remember that it was a beacon of faith for my own family. May the witness of this congregation continue to change lives as it has for our family and now for the Daniel family too.
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