Wednesday, March 02, 2005

John the Baptist

Yes that is my name. Well atleast it was last Saturday.

It was cloudy and dreary all day, but it started to clear a bit right as we started to have our little service. It was family and friends of our little church in Footscray. There were about thirty of us. We gathered on the beach by Whalerock at the tidal river. The tea tree oil gives the water a very brown color that makes it look deeper than it is. We had to look around for a hole deep enough to bury those getting baptised. When we found the place we gathered together and had a prayer, we read a reading, and then we dedicated little Toby Wight. It was an honor to do so. We had the parents commit to raising him in the faith, by both teaching and example. And then had the community pledge to do the same, being an encouragement to the parents. I shared a bit of scripture that I though applied.

Then we dedicated Elwood and Grace Stevens, another two children from our church. Followed the same process. It was a very special time. I remembered when Raquel and I dedicated our two daughters many years ago. That made the next part a bit more special. And a bit more difficult.

I called up my oldest daughter Adriahna, she is fifteen, and I started to cry. I am crying a bit right now as I write this. I explained how she has wanted to be baptised for sometime now, but agreed to wait until we were in Australia and do it at the tidal river with our new faith community. I explained how proud I am of my two daughters, and that they were of age now. Then Ady, as her friends call her, talked about why she was getting baptised and her love for Jesus and desire to dedicate her life to Him. Then we walked into the deepest water, about waist high, and buried her, she was raised a new and Julie Stevens and I prayed for her. I told her the same thing I would tell her sister in a few minutes, "you are now a woman, you are responsible to God now for your life and your ministry. Your mom and I will always be your parents and always love you, but you now are old enough to be responsible for your own life" I think I cried a bit more.

Next I called up Cheyenne, she is fourteen. I didn't cry as much this time, and I think that relieved her a bit. She gave her testimony, and expressed her desire to give her whole heart to God. And then we waded into the water. Again I buried one of my daughters, to be risen anew. Anita Wight helped me and we prayed for Cheyenne. Anita told Cheyenne that her love for people was her calling.

We next baptised my friends Nick and Trudy. They have both been in ministry for a while, and wanted to be baptised as both an issue of obedience, and as a desire to increase their ministries. It was quite an honor to be a part of this special time in their lives. To relive my own baptism, and to commit myself once more to this journey. I have died, am dying, and will die. I have been raised again, am being raised, and will be raised. The mystery of our faith. And what an amazing mystery it is.

I pray your baptism will be a fresh experience in your present.

the rev


Kitty Cheng said...

Wow wow wow John I can so see your heart and commitment in your faith community in Footscray. I felt like crying just now as i was reading your post.

Thanks for sharing this special day with us "John the Baptist". I am really blessed when I read that you have died, are dying, and will die, and that you have been raised again, are being raised, and will be raised. And I can soooo identify with that rev :) Good on you mate.

KLJ said...

That was so pretty, it makes me completely unwilling to make zombie jokes about all the dead and rising stuff. See... no zombie jokes.