A few years ago, I was sat in a CU event and got chatting to a few people as we munched away on free pizza. I remember a conversation that I had with one student where we got onto the topic of baptism.
She asked me whether I had been baptised and I replied that I hadn’t as an adult. She (quite strongly) encouraged that I should consider doing so as she recalled the joyful memory of boldly proclaiming her faith in Jesus. I could see the sheer joy and excitement radiating from her face as she spoke and thought, “Wow.”
After that encounter, I started to notice more signs such as people around me getting baptised, coming across baptisms during my Bible reading and hearing about it in church. It almost felt as though God was trying to grab my attention and after much thought and prayer, I made the decision that I needed to get baptised. I felt peaceful and excited yet unsure of the logistics as the church I was attending then did not perform baptisms. However, I trusted God that if it was His will, then He would sort out the details. I spoke to some close friends about my decision, and they all encouraged and supported me, and I was sure that I would get baptised in the coming weeks.
…And then COVID happened. Weeks went by which turned into months and then a full year. I thought, “Why is this happening? God, I thought you wanted me to be baptised and that’s pretty difficult if I can’t get within 2 metres of anyone.” Yet in the uncertainty, God knew what He was doing. My struggle was that I did not have a church family that I could share this joyful experience with. Sure, I could maybe do it in a river or a bathtub, but I did not want to lose that sense of witness to the church.
Through lockdown although physically apart, I managed to spend more time with The Globe Church getting stuck into meetings and praying together and actually understanding what it means to be part of a community of believers. I praise God that although it seemed impossible at the time, He had worked out everything in His timing. I look forward to finally getting baptised with my church family where we can all be gathered together - and how much more precious will it be?
Baptism is not just an empty ritual or a tick box exercise we do as Christians but an outward sign of being inwardly cleansed from sin and raised from death to life. I’ve always wondered why Jesus who was sinless allowed Himself to be baptised. As John asks this same question, Jesus replies, “It is proper for us to do this to fulfil all righteousness.” How awesome is it that we serve a great King who was willing to be baptised and die like a sinner so that we could be saved and belong to Him forever!
This was Jesus’ plan from the beginning and although baptism itself does not save us, it is a precious reminder of Jesus work on the cross and that we identify and belong to Him. I can understand why that student was so excited about baptism and I hope I can encourage some of you who may be curious to consider, pray and ask God to lead you.