Last Sunday morning saw three people get baptised during the service.
Baptisms are always a joyful and emotional time. I love to hear people speak of how God has used a variety of circumstances – some spectacular, others ordinary, to call them into a restored relationship with himself. Baptism pictures this dramatic change of direction through the symbol of dying to the old self and rising again into new Christ-centred life, combined with the wonderful image of cleansing from sin.
In the Bible, baptism often occurred as soon as someone made the decision to follow God, but today we often wait before making this step.
During Sunday’s service, Clara spoke beautifully about her decision to be baptised after many years of waiting. Her testimony was challenging and helpful, and she has kindly given me permission to share it here:
As testimonies go, I’m not going to get any offers to have my story made into a film.
There have been no thunder bolts from the blue, no Damascus moments, no real dramas at all, just the gradual drip feed of God’s power throughout my life.
Why have I decided to become baptised now? I’ve spent many years waiting for the thunderbolt, the big moment that proves unequivocally that my faith was real and good enough, that I was good enough… I have been waiting to hear from God… to be shown some sort of sign…
When discussing this dilemma with my wonderful husband, he simply said, “Clara, I think the cross is the only sign we need”. And he is right.
I’m a bit embarrassed to get baptised at 35 after being a Christian all my life, albeit at times with a very small c, so I searched the bible for a get out clause. But it turns out Jesus didn’t say, “wait for a sign” or “after you get your Damascus moment” ; he said believe and be baptised . So here I am.
I want to acknowledge that I wouldn’t be here at all were it not for the loving encouragement and wonderful Christian example of my family. And for the last 12 years, my Church family here at Cambray – I want to thank you all for praying for me and supporting my journey.
Onwards and upwards then, or in the more eloquent words of Luke in Chapter 17, “The Kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say here it is or there it is, because the Kingdom of God is within you.”
If you’ve become a Christian, but are hesitating to be baptised, may I encourage you to take the plunge? (pun intended!)
It’s an act of obedience to God that encourages the church, and is a testimony of your changed life to others.
Don’t wait for a sign, the cross is the only sign we need!
Nim – with thanks to Clara Hambling