Our church had our annual baptism celebration last weekend (pictures here). Eight people were baptized, all telling their story—The Story, really—of how God had moved in their lives.
As I opened the service, I told everyone that I believed all of us would come to know the grace of God better as we heard how the grace of God had affected the lives of others. I don’t think we were disappointed. I know I wasn’t.
One of my favorite moments came as a young man shared his story. He said,
I’m being baptized today for 2 reasons: First, Jesus has saved me and this is what he commands us to do.
But also, I’m being baptized because I’m showing you that I’m with you [with Christians, with this local church]. I’m not just some kid beating on a drum, somebody just performing on a stage; I’m worshiping with you; I’m one of you.
That’s the twofold meaning of baptism, isn’t it—united to Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection (that is, “Jesus saved me”), and identifying publicly with all the other people who this is also true for (that is, “I’m with you”).
I came to know the grace of God better last Sunday afternoon. And this coming Sunday, when I look at the worship team from the front row, I know that the kid holding the wooden sticks is not just some kid—he’s one of us.