Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Christian Baptism (10/18/07)
TITLE: THE BAPTISM
By Merri Griffin
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Today I am 50 yrs. old, but on that blessed day, I was only 13. The sacred event was taking place at the local middle schools swimming pool. My family all came to support me, but I was really happy that my Aunt Vivvie came. She was my favorite aunt. Everyone in the family thought her odd because she had a carefree, flamboyant type of personality that matched my own. She was never bogged down with life’s problems and I asked her what was her secret. She gave me the scripture Psalms 55:22, Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall. (NIV)
“Are you nervous?” she asked as we walked arm in arm down the hallway of the school. “Not really.” I smiled back at her. As we got to the women’s locker room door we stopped and hugged. “Well this is it Pumpkin! I’ll be right there in the bleachers waving at you!” she said eyes twinkling. I took a deep breath and walked into the locker room where my heart filled with a joy that was shared by many. There were women of all ages and colors preparing to be baptized. All of us, waiting to enter into a covenant relationship with God!
I quickly put on my bathing suit and went out to the pool area where I saw the same sight, but with men! In my mind, I envisioned the multitudes being submerged by John the Baptist. What a glorious sight that must have been! And I now stood in a modern day move of God!
The line moved swiftly and expeditiously. Before I knew it, my turn was up. I stepped into the pool and went to the brother that I was directed to. “Hi!” he smiled as he held his hand out to me. “Hello.” I said apprehensively. The water level came to just below my rib cage, as I wasn’t the greatest swimmer in the world. He gave me instructions to place my right hand over my nose and my left arm around the front part of my waist. He placed his right arm over my arm and anchored his left arm around me. “Are you ready?” he asked. “Yes, but please don’t let me go!” He then said, “In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, I baptize you!” He laid me back, as he plunged me into the water and brought me immediately back up.
When I rose from the water I felt a newness, a cleansing, a REBIRTH! And true to her word. Auntie Vivvie stood out in the crowd waving to me with tears running down her face. She was the first face I saw coming out of the locker room. “Do you feel different?” she asked. “Auntie I can’t explain it. I feel so, so….” “So loved?” she interrupted. I slowly nodded yes. She hugged me as tears spilled over and down my cheeks. We joined arms and strolled down the hallway to meet the rest of the family. The experience of my baptism was so profound that it stays, and will stay, with me for the rest of my life. And from that point on the flame of love that God has poured into my heart will never wane, as I strive to pour mine, back to Him!
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