Bible Study Blog-Renewal. Do you remember your baptism? I remember mine as if it were yesterday. At the age of nine, I decided to give my life to Christ. I told my parents I wanted to be baptized. I knew in my heart this was what I really wanted more than anything. Yes, even at age nine. Now, I’m not sure if I totally understood the term renewal, but I knew I loved Jesus and I wanted Him to know just how much I loved Him by being baptized. That’s not to say there haven’t been times when I felt the need to rededicate my life. Those were the times when I found my life spinning out of control. Times when I knew the path I’d chosen was the wrong one. But the day of my baptism is a memory I cherish. My parents made it such a special day and I’ll always be grateful for that.
We were Baptist, which meant total submersion. We didn’t do the sprinkling thing or the infant dabbing a little water on the head thing and call it a baptism. Nope, Baptists believe in full and total submersion. Admittedly, I was nervous about this procedure.
Our minister was a little elderly in my mind, so the thought of slipping out of his arms or him not being able to fully hold my nose was a concern. I’ve always had a fear of drowning, which made the prospect of some old guy holding me under the water a bit daunting. Obviously, I didn’t drown and the old chap did a great job of making me feel safe. And although I looked like a drowned rat afterwards, I felt renewed. Even if I didn’t know what that meant.
I don’t have pictures of my own baptism. So I’ll share my granddaughter, Skye’s baptism, my granddaughter, Haylie’s baptism, and my son-in-law, Jeremie’s baptism. You can see the different styles from the Baptist church and the Methodist church. Skye is in the middle and her baptism resembled mine. Regardless of the how, they all took.
Many remember the story of Jesus being baptized by John the Baptist, or John the Baptizer as my Methodist minister friend called him. It’s found in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Can you imagine being a part of the crowd that stood around and watched what some theologians view as a historical event? I view it as simply heart-warming and humbling and not necessarily an event. Certainly humbling for John, who felt Jesus should be the one baptizing him. I totally get that.
Jesus instructed his disciples to go out into the world and baptize. I believe that’s why Jesus thought it important that He be baptized. He wanted to show others the importance of being renewed. Baptism can bring such a wonderful renewal to our lives. It gives us an identity. Jesus was God’s beloved son. It was His identity. But Jesus also knew He must be baptized because He needed to be the example. God claims us in baptism. Isn’t that wonderful? Without baptism we can be insecure and this insecurity can cause us to make mistakes.
Baptism assures us that God has forgiven our sins. I submit there are those among us who don’t know they need forgiving. But the Bible is clear about all of us needing forgiveness. The Bible tells us that all can be forgiven. If we confess our sins, God will forgive us. And with that forgiveness, we discover a renewal that changes our lives. In Baptism, God gives each of us purpose, which ultimately is God’s purpose for our lives.
My baptism day is a day I’ll always remember. And not because I got a truckload of gifts either. Or even that my mother made me all of my favorite foods. But because my parents made it a point to explain the importance of renewal through baptism. Although, come to think of it, that charm bracelet was kinda cool.
How did your baptism look? What do you remember most?
And that’s what I learned in Church……see ya next time!
About Regina Stone Matthews
Regina Stone Matthews is an award-winning children’s book author who lives in Texas. Her award-winning children’s books Words and Actions, Tracks in the Snow, and I’m a Detective: Elizabeth Marie Hutchinson When I Dream received the Christian Literary Awards’ Reader’s Choice Award. I’m a Detective also received the Christian Literary Awards’ Henri Award. Her other books include Elizabeth Marie Hutchinson: When I Dream,and Dealing With Margaret: Elizabeth Marie Hutchinson When I Dream. Regina is currently working on an adult novel, which will be available in late 2016.
Regina is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, The Rockwall Christian Writer’s Group, and the North Forty Storytellers Guild. She also founded the Facebook Group Kids Inspiring Kids to recognize inspirational children. For more information about Regina, visit her website.