(Letters to RLC are a montly "open letter" to all my RLC family. Think of it like the Pastor's Corner that many churches used to have in the past.)
March: Baptism Sunday
As of writing this, we celebrated baptisms this past Sunday. Baptism is truly a celebration. Someone is announcing to the world that God has changed them from the inside out. Baptism is not salvation. Baptism does not mean you have 'arrived' and no longer deal with things. Baptism is not a celebration of you. It is a celebration of what God is doing in you. Baptism says you have given your life to the Lord, received His salvation for your sin, and are following Jesus.
The only thing better for me is when someone in that person's life baptizes them. I'm honored to participate in each baptism, but it is even more remarkable when a dad, father, or brother-in-Christ does it.
This past Sunday, we had a grandfather baptize a grandson. It touched my heart to watch this fantastic moment. It was also the funniest baptism I have ever witnessed. The grandson was a little nervous about going underwater. The way our baptistery works, you sit down and then lay down to go into the water. When the time came, the grandson stuck out his elbows so his head wouldn't go underwater. Because the grandfather knew what he was doing, he slowly overpowered the boy until his whole body was underwater. I think his face was under for about one second, then back up again.
However, for a moment, there was a struggle. As soon as the boy came out of the water, he was so happy. He was smiling and hugging his grandfather. It was amazing. It was hilarious.
Then, I started thinking. Isn't that exactly what God does to us. We go "all in" for Him. Then, when God works to set us free, we stick our elbows out. We want to be forgiven but are unsure about what freedom costs. But, like a loving Father, the Lord hears our protests but continues His sanctifying work. We know what we want. He knows what we truly need.
Thank you, Jesus, for never paying attention to my elbows. Lol. Thank you for always leading me toward freedom. Sometimes you guide me as an active participant, and sometimes you lead me kicking and screaming. Then, when it is over, I celebrate and act like I was onboard the whole time.