Yesterday was an amazing day in the life of Fruit Cove Baptist Church. A couple of hundred baptismal candidates, family, and church members gathered on a hot (!!) day at Mickler’s Landing to witness the ordinance of Christian baptism. A large number of these folks were brand new Christians…young and old(er). A number were from our Student ministry. It was a joyous day fighting the fiercest waves yet of any of our beach baptisms. In all, 32 folks braved the Atlantic waves to profess their faith in Jesus Christ as their Risen Lord and Savior. In addition, another eight or ten pastors, deacons, and helpers were also immersed (but they don’t count). It was, as said before, a time of joy.
Nothing brings excitement, anticipation, and the reminder of our mission back to us like a baptism. Whether it’s one or several dozen, a baptismal service centers us, calls us out to the main thing…sharing the Gospel…and re-orients us to reproduce. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20) With those important words, Jesus called us to “live sent.”
But the baptism isn’t the end. Like the birth of a baby, it begins the arduous process of learning to eat, to walk, to speak, to live. It requires a family to nurture these things and to protect, model, and guide the newest among us. And, like a family we model for them what living with Christ should be.
So if you’ve never seen a baptism, especially one at sea, let me encourage you to make a point of coming next time. It’s incredible! And if you’ve never been baptized Biblically (by immersion…under water… after you profess faith in Jesus) then come and be baptized and in that way show obedience and allegiance to Jesus. And if you know one of these who were just baptized, the next time you see them… rejoice in what they have done.
…it’s the most important decision of their life!