Tales from the Great Adventure

a journal of living-like-we-mean-it, by Derek Maul

IMG_9201“This promise is for you. It is also for your children and for the people who are far away. It is for everyone the Lord our God calls to himself.” – Acts 2:39

There is a lot about Sunday mornings with our church family that gives us joy. But I’m not sure there’s much that’s more beautiful than baptism. Baptism represents:

  • the extension of covenant over one more being,
  • the intentions of a family to turn more resolutely toward the light,
  • the responsibility of the church community to nurture one another in the faith,
  • the need we all have for God’s grace and mercy,
  • the washing away of our sin,
  • the completeness of our helplessness,
  • and the great reach of God’s love.

IMG_9179The baby melted into Rebekah’s arms as if being hauled around by the preacher (and liberally soaked) was the most natural thing in the world. The mom – Allie – was on the search team that called Rebekah to Wake Forest (she, her husband Dustin, and their two children are a wonderful family). The grandmother – Sandy – served as the elder who asked the congregation for our commitment in the covenant. The grandfather, Tom, is a great encourager in our church. It is a family deeply rooted in this community.

I think that’s what makes baptism so emotional. Sure, an individual can be baptized in the middle of nowhere, one-on-one, never to be seen again (like the story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch); but this journey we’re taking as disciples of Jesus is – at its heart – a community experience. We are the body of Christ; we need one another; we need to be invested in support and encouragement; and we need people in the splash zone at every baptism who aren’t afraid to get wet.

we need people in the splash zone at every baptism who aren’t afraid to get wet.

Baptism stands in stark contrast to the individualism, the disharmony, and the alienation that seems to live at the root of so much of our cultural dysfunction – politically, socially, even – tragically – religiously.

The covenant of baptism I witnessed – participated in – Sunday morning says to the world, quite clearly, that we not only need the saving grace of Jesus, we need one another.

IMG_9203Get in the baptism splash zone; don’t be afraid to get wet; don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1).

“This promise is for you. It is also for your children and for the people who are far away. It is for everyone the Lord our God calls to himself.” – Acts 2:39

– In love, and because of love – DEREK

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