Wednesday, September 14, 2011
I've been thinking about baptism a lot recently- not for myself, but about the whole idea of it. We had three infant baptisms at Emmaus last Sunday, and one of the members of my worship team was baptised over the summer. What I find so interesting about baptism is that there are so many different ways of going about it. Whether it's full-immersion or a dip or sprinkling, infant or adult, there's something so cool about the whole thing.
Infant baptism has always been an odd concept to me- having grown up in a non-Christian household, I wasn't baptised at birth, so for me, my baptism really was a thing that happened after, and only after, I was old enough to consciously decide on my own to follow God. For obvious reasons, that's not really how it works with babies, but I wouldn't discount infant baptisms just for that reason. I think what's neat about an infant baptism is that, while it's true it's not a decision the child is making on their own, it's still a vow taken by the family, friends and community of that child to uphold and support them in their childhood and eventually in their walk with Christ.
My friend from the worship team was complaining that, while she has been a believer for a really long time, people looked at her baptism over the summer as her finally deciding to accept Jesus, and made a big deal out of it. While it's true that this kind of attitude is frustrating, I think there's still something really great about a person's baptism, even if (especially if!) they've known and loved Jesus for a long time. For me, my baptism came a little later in life- at 14, if I'm not wrong- and was very much a decision I made for myself when I was ready. I had believed in God for a couple of years before then, but that was around the time that I decided I wanted to live my life for Him, so it was a real defining moment for me.
What's interesting is that, if we look at Jesus' own baptism, it didn't occur until he was an adult, right at the start of His ministry! I think it's really cool, because in some respects, my ministry really started after my baptism too- that was the year that I started teaching kindergarten sunday school, and was one of the first years of my ministry at Inspiritus day camp.
Does anyone out there have any interesting baptism stories? Thoughts about infant baptism? Leave a comment!