I was baptized as a baby in the Catholic church, sprinkled, not dunked. And for most of my life, I have not thought about it again. Then, enter my husband, Mr. Church of Christ, where baptism is a huge area of emphasis. We have had many a debate of this subject...him selling conservatism vs me selling liberalism (in Christianity terms anyway). I have been haunted by the seemingly forced nature of baptism in many of those churches. To the point that you can believe and live your life for God but if you are not baptized, say hello to your little friend, Mr. Devil. I have always brought up the thief on the cross next to Jesus. Jesus didn't halt the crucifixion, and say, "Hold the phone...I gotta go dunk this guy, or else he's screwed." (Ok, so I know Jesus wouldn't talk that way, but you get my point.)
However, it was a few months ago, where I realized that for me, I wanted to be baptized as an adult. I was reading Forgotten God by Francis Chan. It focuses on the Holy Spirit and how de-emphasized it is in the current culture. And then it hit me, that I want to make sure that I have made myself a complete vessel for the Holy Spirit to work in as He would. And for me, it meant I needed to obey that longing that has been in my heart for awhile and be baptized. I had a wonderful conversation with a pastor from our church and I was so lovingly blessed with the Lord leading me to Romans 6. (On a side note, you know when you read scripture, and you think, "That has no meaning in my life" and then you come back to it someday and think, "Holy Cow! Did the Lord just write that in there? I mean it never meant anything before!!!" That was Romans 6 for me!) There has been an area of sin in my life that has been so hard to let go of. I keep asking God why I can't just turn from it. It doesn't help that it's practically a part of my everyday life...everyday. And then there's Romans highlighting the importance of baptism. And I know it is unequivacably the right thing for me to do. So Thursday, I seek to embark on the next destination of my journey.
That's what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are reaised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus. Each of us is raised into a light-filled world by our Father so that we can see where we're going in our new grace-sovereign country. ~Romans 6:3-5 (The Message)