Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Christian Baptism (10/18/07)
TITLE: Newness of Life
By Pamela Kliewer
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Only Jesus could have turned my life around. I hadn’t been a bad person, really. I certainly had an attitude that was all about me, though. My husband could testify to that. I was hoping he could speak differently about me now.
I looked up at the clear blue sky, streaked with wispy clouds, colored with shades of pink, as the sun was just beginning to set. My heart lifted to Jesus in gratitude for all He had done in my life. I felt the pastor’s hand on my shoulder. I looked at him, tears pooling in my eyes. “Are you ready?” he asked. I looked out at the crowd gathered on the shore. There stood my husband! The tears in my eyes spilled over, feeling warm on my cold cheeks.
He came. I really didn’t think he would. My heart swelled with joy. He hadn’t spoken to me for several days, treating me with contempt… now, here he was.
Taking a deep breath I looked again at the pastor. “I’m ready.”
“Sara, why do you want to follow our Lord in baptism today?”
“I was reading in Romans 6 the other day where it talks about being baptized into Jesus’ death and being buried with Him, and that just like He was raised up from the dead, I should walk in newness of life.(i) I have been walking in that new life for a year now and I want to publicly declare that I am a follower of Jesus, always wanting to walk in the new life He has to give me.”
“Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?”
“You believe that he died and rose again, to give you eternal life?”
I could feel my face glowing with unsuppressed joy. “Yes!”
“Sara, I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
He dipped me into the ocean waters. When he lifted me out, I was, of course, dripping wet, but I was smiling. It felt like my smile was rivaling the brilliance of the quickly setting sun.
“Go now, Sara, and continue walking in that newness of life.”
I stepped out of the water into the warm towel my friend Karen was holding for me. She wrapped me in a big hug.
The pastor was saying, “Is there anyone else who would like to be baptized here today?”
“I would.” I turned to see my husband walking forward. I was beyond shocked. How could this be? Ever since I gave my life to Jesus, Mark had treated me with nothing but belligerence.
He stepped into the ocean where the pastor was waiting. “I’m Mark, Sara’s husband.” He said.
“Mark, why would you like to be baptized today?”
“I have watched Sara this last year. I have treated her terribly. Mocking her. Treating her with contempt. She hasn’t once spoken a harsh word to me. Her attitude has remained loving and gentle. My wife is a changed woman. If Jesus can change her life, I want Him in my life too.”
Tears coursed down my cheeks, and my heart shouted thanksgiving to God.
“Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that he died and rose again, to give you eternal life?”
“Yes. I believe.” Mark’s face shone with eternal glory.
“Mark, I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
As He dipped Mark into the clear, cool waters of the Pacific, the sun made it’s ascent over the horizon, the colors bright and pure; pinks and oranges splashed across the sky. Mark came up out of the water, his countenance holding the wonderment I had felt for a year…
“Go now, Mark and walk in newness of life with your Savior.”
He came to me then, wrapped me in an embrace that marked the beginning of our lives being lived for Jesus from that day forward. It felt like we had just gotten married and were ready to begin our lives together.
(i) Romans 6:3-4
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