Sunday, April 04, 2010

Take Me To the Water

I am not entirely certain what it was about Easter Sunday this year that made it so unusually special as they go, but from the waking up until now almost bedtime, it has been one of those days touched by special moments that are memorable. The most memorable, of course is the special Easter service at church.

Every year we have a different routine on Easter Sunday with egg and scavenger hunts for the younger ones and a longer time to visit and socialize for the adults. Sprinkled in there is the breakfast provided by the deacons of the church and the normal church preparations of the day.

This year’s worship service also included the baptism of two adults with very moving testimonies read to the gathered congregation. One of the two gentlemen only has one leg, so I got the opportunity to be in the water to help support him as he stood to be baptized and help the preacher get him in and out of the water. Other than my own baptism over thirty years ago, I had never participated so closely in one. The whole experience gave me goosebumps.

And it was not just because the water was freezing.

Baptism in a Baptist church has always been a particularly moving experience even as a congregant observing the practice, but being a part of it took the whole thing to an entirely new level. I am going to have to think on it for a few days to understand the full scope of how much it meant to me, but I do know that I came out of the water feeling even more strongly about the power of baptism as not only a symbol of faith, but as a transformative even in a person’s life.

Our practice is for the choir to sing “Take Me To the Water” as the pastor gets situated in the baptistry to introduce the importance of baptism an all that it signifies. After observing the water first hand, that hymn will carry even more force the next time I hear it.

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