One of the benefits of growing up a military brat was that in moving all across our great country, I got to have a lot of unique and interesting experiences. One experience took place while we were stationed in Hawaii--I got to attend a baptism done in the waters of the Pacific Ocean. I don't remember a lot about it, but I do remember the minister walking out into the waves with each person and putting them under the water while the waves crashed onto the beach.
I got to have another unique experience with baptism yesterday afternoon. Several of the youth have recently come into a relationship with Jesus Christ and wanted to be baptised. However, they weren't looking for the usual sprinkling of water that Methodists normally do during worship. They wanted full immersion. So, a service of baptism was set up at the local Percy Priest Lake. Five youth and one adult got baptised by going under the water and coming back up yesterday--all while boaters roared by.
The service itself was a relatively simple one. We led off with a couple verses of Amazing Grace, then Brother Thad spoke a few words and asked the candidates some questions. After that, he waded out with each one into the lake and performed the baptism. After he'd performed all six baptisms, he came back toward shore, reminded us to remember our baptism and splashed some lake water on us. It was a moving, wonderful experience. To see six people come to Christ and dedicate their lives was wonderful. Also, standing there on the shore, with the wind blowing on a pleasant afternoon as the waves lapped the shore, I felt almost like what people on the shore must have felt like watching Jesus get baptised by John all those years ago--well, except in Jesus' day they didn't have motor boats out in the water.
I feel blessed that I've had the chance to part of two unique baptism experiences-- in Hawaii and at the lake yesterday.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 9/13/2004 10:15:00 AM