Saturday, January 12, 2013

Renewal of Baptismal Vows

Sunday we are going to offer worshipers the opportunity to renew their baptismal vows. Why? One simple reason is that it's a great way to begin a new year; at the waters of baptism. Another is to bridge the divide between paedo-baptists and believers' baptists, both of whom are embraced in the Evangelical Covenant.
A common statement I hear is something like this: "I was baptized by my parents as an infant but don't remember a thing. When I accepted Christ as an adult, then I got it done for me, so I could experience it." There is nothing wrong with anything in that statement. An infant does not normally remember something like a baptism. It is perfectly appropriate to accept Christ as an adult. It is understandable for a believer to want to experience baptism.
But when does a believer really get the meaning of his/her baptism? When they are fresh from a conversion experience and are clearly choosing to follow Jesus? When they have sunk their roots into the Word and are discovering what it means to submit to Christ's Lordship, be filled with the Holy Spirit, discover spiritual gifts, and see the fruits of the Holy Spirit? When he/she has experienced the pain of loss, failure or suffering and in the "dark night of the soul" experiences the powerful presence of God in the waters of chaos?
I would argue that all the places are good for the waters of baptism, as a place and time for renewal, remembering, recalling God's faithfulness and mercy. In fact, I don't think I'm ever done with the waters. I'm never fully mature. There is always something new, deeper, richer. Come to the waters!


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