Remember Your Baptism
By Rev. Becky Brown | 2022-01-07 | 3 min read
Do you remember your baptism?
I definitely do. My husband does. Our children definitely don’t. Each January, as the liturgical calendar continues, I get excited about Baptism of the Lord Sunday. This is the day we remember Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River by his cousin John.
It’s an interesting question to ask someone, “Do you remember the day you were baptized?” It isn’t one we ask in casual conversation. It isn’t a small talk topic. Outside of the church world, this question can be seen as invasive, pushy and off-putting. Yet, in the church, in the context of our Christian community, this is an important question to ask.
I very clearly remember the day I asked to be baptized. I was in Elementary School, and was attending my southern Baptist church’s Vacation Bible School. Throughout the week, the theme of salvation reception was clear and prevalent in the teaching and group discussions. I distinctly remember sitting on the floor in a room full of children, and feeling fuzzy and warm. I remember interpreting that feeling that Jesus was asking to come into my heart. Now, I understand that feeling as the presence of the Holy Spirit. I pulled one of the volunteers to the side, and told them I was ready to be baptized. Moments later, I was seated in the Senior Pastor’s office, and we talked about salvation. It was intimidating and scary. I felt assured that I was doing the right thing, and everyone was very proud of me.
I remember being baptized along with several other children, youth, and adults during a special evening service. We all donned white robes, and one by one, we stepped down into the warm jacuzzi tub water and joined the Pastor there. I was dunked 3 times, and then sent up the stairs on the other side to dry off and hug the others. It was a powerful moment. All except, my hair permanent got ruined in the process. I was upset because all my baptism pictures didn’t turn out well. My hair was a mess. Oh, the things we remember.
My baptism was meaningful from start to finish, but it’s meaning has become more profound as I have grown in age, and matured in faith. There’s no way, at 7 years old, that I could have fully understood what living a life as a baptized believer meant. It was just the beginning. Over time, I have come to understand, more deeply, what it means to confess my sin, seek and receive forgiveness, and be reconciled to God. I have also come to understand that living into my baptism isn’t a solo adventure. Even though, as an introvert, I value my alone time, baptism is a community and group effort. As we affirm our faith, we do so in front of our faith family. The church affirms us, and then commits to help raise us up in the faith – to continue to help us mature as Christians. Without this communal piece, I don’t know how valuable my faith would be for me in my life. I don’t know how Christians go it solo.
What is your baptism story? I’d love to hear it. If you haven’t been baptized, and are feeling God nudging you to explore it, get in touch with me. I’d love to listen, hear your questions, and share with you. As I said, living into our baptisms takes all of us – together.