A Story of Baptism Sunday
Pastor Rick Paladin
Bridge City Church, Pennsylvania
It was a typical Sunday morning. The members, regular attenders, and some guests were enjoying our worship experience. Praise and worship went well, the emcee communicated, and the preaching was on point. Some of the participants thought this was the part where the worship experience comes to an end, so now off to their afternoon plans. But not this Sunday! Most of the guests that were present were patiently waiting for this moment. It was Baptism Sunday!
The pastor stands up smiling ear to ear and announces, “We are going to baptize five people today.” The crowd claps and cheers as if the home team just announced their starting lineup. Each person has someone eager to baptize them—a parent, youth leader, small group leader, or the person who led them to Jesus Christ. The pastor asks each of them to state their name and the reason they wish to be baptized. A little nervous, yet speaking out, some for the first time ever, they state the reason why they want to be water baptized. It’s a statement straight from their heart.
The first person sets the tone, saying they want to “leave their past behind and become a new creation.” The next two people share their past way of living and how they’ve changed. The contrasts were clear.
The fourth person states what an impact their small group leader had made on them, with all of the members of their small group standing around the baptistery in support. He says he would not be here today if it wasn’t for them.
The last person to get baptized is a 14-year-old girl who has grown up in the church, and at this moment, she’s making a public confession of faith. Her father could not be more proud as he holds back tears and steps up to do the honors of baptizing her.
As each person comes out of the water, the congregation jumps to their feet, claps and cheers, and the band hits a prepared rhythm that shakes the building. This happens each of the five times!
As church comes to an end, each person receives a gift and certificate, along with pictures of their big day. Family and friends are elated to experience the joy of water baptism like they never had before. The pastor departs with a deep sense of gratitude towards God and a sense of accomplishment of making a difference!