Our pastor baptized a friend today. He reminded us in the sermon that the ritual of baptism is ancient. Jesus himself submitted to baptism … required John to baptize him … illustrating for us the significance and power in that public testimony. We practiced a ritual that is more than 2000 years old … it has survived dark age, the Victorian age, the industrial age … the information age. The structure and format of churches have changed through time … but the message of baptism is still the same. Isaac Watts wrote:
‘Twas the commission of our Lord,
“Go teach the nations, and baptize:”
The nations have received the word
Since he ascended to the skies.
He sits upon th’ eternal hills,
With grace and pardon in his hands;
And sends his cov’nant with the seals,
To bless the distant British lands.
“Repent, and be baptized,” he saith,
For the remission of your sins:”
And thus our sense assists our faith,
And shows us what his gospel means.
Our souls he washes in his blood,
As water makes the body clean;
And the good Spirit from our God
Descends like purifying rain.
Thus we engage ourselves to thee,
And seal our cov’nant with the Lord;
O may the great eternal Three
In heav’n our solemn vows record!
The solemn vow today was sealed in the candidate’s own swimming pool. It was the perfect place to remind us that our death, burial, and resurrection to walk in newness of life happens in the ordinary, everyday moments of life … in this case, the family backyard playground.
From ancient ritual to modern day swimming pool … God is all in all.