Wednesday, December 09, 2009

our first baptism

We celebrated our first baptism this Sunday. It was an incredible experience. We gathered and huddled and slipped on the muddy banks of a cold Morgan Creek. On a 40 degree day in December, we celebrated and participated in the new life of our friend Tony. Two weeks ago Tony asked how he could embrace the new life that is offered through the love and grace of Jesus Christ. He is Jeanine's brother, and right there in the room where he has crashed countless weekends on their couch, Justin walked Tony into the Kingdom.

Tony is a Marine, soon on his way back to Afghanistan. There's this thing he does when he shakes hands--a Marine thing, he says--where instead of the normal grip, hand in hand, he grips higher up on the inside of your forearm, while you're gripping his. The test then, is to see who is the stronger man, who has the strength to wrestle and turn his arm on top. In all of my personal experience, Tony has never lost.

Until Sunday.

As he went beneath the frigid water (yes, even cold for a hard core Marine) he let Someone else win. He surrendered. He submitted. He humbled himself to a stronger man... One strong enough to save.

This is the beauty of baptism. The submission and submersion, an old life buried beneath the water. A new one raised fresh and new. (And really, really cold.)

Watch the video of Tony's baptism here on Justin's blog. And as you watch, remember what it was like when you were baptized. And in your heart, go under with him, reaffirming the work God accomplished in you. Remember what it was like to come up new and alive, soaking wet and drenched in grace.

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