All for One: Celebrating Baptism

by Aug 18, 2022Uncategorized

All For One: Celebrating Baptism

Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

Acts 2:41 (ESV)

Waiting in the holding room before the baptism ceremony, I turned to my husband. “We could make a run for it right now. No one would even notice we were gone!”

My husband and I were saved, but in a commitment to our faith, we had recently decided to be baptized. However, I agreed to this before learning what a public spectacle the celebration would be.

A small pool, similar to a Jacuzzi, was erected on stage in the worship center. Lest the back rows miss any action, enormous screens provided a high-definition close-up as one by one, those being baptized crossed the stage, exchanged a few words with the pastor, and were gently lowered under and out of the water, to the whoops and applause of the crowd.

The church-provided white gown that I wore over my bathing suit made me feel incredibly exposed, but it was more than that. I didn’t mind being baptized, but I did mind how public it was. Why did every eye in the place have to be on me?

In the second chapter of Acts, Peter gives a public declaration as Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah, and the people repent, trusting Jesus has forgiven their sins. In that moment, three thousand people are baptized as a public sign of their faith.

The crowd at our church that morning wasn’t nearly that large and at least I knew most of them. There were the women I served with in the nursery. The parents of the children I looked after. The couples we regularly met with in our newlywed small group. The pastors and volunteers who had coordinated the event. So many who had played a role in our faith journey so far.

Baptism is a celebration of our commitment to follow Christ. In placing baptism on my heart, God was calling me to be obedient to Him, to take the plunge and step out of my comfort zone in faith. It’s a public declaration because God knew we weren’t designed to walk alone. I realized the eyes in the crowd weren’t just on me, they were with me, supporting me and celebrating with me. This was their celebration too.

“Last chance,” my husband said, as we lined up for our turn to cross the stage.

But I didn’t need it. My cold feet were gone.  I took my place in the group to be baptized in the Spirit so as to form one body (1 Cor 12:13).

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