Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Baptism to Remember

I have had the privilege of performing many baptisms in my ministry as a minister, but never one like in the above video. The minister showed great restraint and grace in his public response. I’m certain his private response was appropriate.

I recall one “memorable” baptism back in the summer of 1997 at Burnt Cabin camp. At the time I was the summer youth intern at Haskell. We attended Fort Gibson’s camp session and Terry Hackworth was the director. One evening a young man from his youth group was baptized by his grandfather in shallow end of the swimming. You could tell that he had probably not done many baptisms. When he went to put immerse his grandson under the water, I don’t know if the boy slipped or if the grandfather lost his footing or what, but the young man turned sideways and needless to say, it was clearly visible and evident to the majority of the witnesses (all the campers and counselors) that he wasn’t completely “immersed.” I was so impressed with how immediately Terry so gracefully and kindly stepped in immediately pointed out the “problem” and asked the grandfather to “do it again” and made a comment to everyone in effect that said we want this young man to fully buried in the waters of baptism as the N.T. instructs and we want it to be certain. I always have greatly admired and respected Terry for having the courage and wisdom to realize and see the need to address this “teaching moment” with these young people and not leave the baptism in doubt or question in anyone’s mind. He used it to draw attention to the fact that baptism is an immersion in water where the old sinful man is buried and a new person arises in Christ. (Rom. 6:3-4)

May each of us viewing this clip take it as an opportunity to remember our own special moment when we were baptized into Christ, having our sins forgiven, and may we embrace a new surge of enthusiasm and joy in Christ.

But like I said, having had many wonderful baptism experiences, there are a few I wish the camera had been rolling. Do you have any memorable or even funny baptism experiences or moments?

In Christ,

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