by Pastor Mike Lueken
I’ve always liked the story of the conversion of the Ethiopian official in Acts 8 (he’s called “the eunuch” which is a rather unfortunate moniker to be remembered by). I won’t slog through all the details of what happened, but after hearing the story of Jesus’ life, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension, something connected for the eunuch, and he became of follower of Jesus. And he followed hard. He followed with purpose. He followed with a usual and almost immediate sense that life was never going to be the same, post-Jesus. This guy had a contagious passion about his new life with Jesus. My favorite scene is described in verse 36, “As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” Who does that? Who asks to be baptized a few minutes after becoming a follower of Christ? There is no hesitation. There is no fear. It is clear from the story that in the course of introducing this fellow to Jesus, Philip explained that this was about a kind of life; a new way of living in the world where baptism was one of the early steps of that new life.
Too often we try and figure out the minimum requirements necessary for maintaining good standing. This kind of language and thinking is utterly foreign to the New Testament version of “the Christian life.” It’s not that everyone in the New Testament were ardent followers of Christ in some sort of idyllic way. To the contrary, one reason there even is a New Testament is because people were fickle about their commitments and petty in their relationships. But we are reminded by this government official, that following Jesus encompasses everything in our lives. We bring it all to His feet.
And I think it’s obvious that in our time, we must find ways of keeping our faith fresh and vibrant. We need to be nudged out of our comfort zones and be constantly reminded that following Jesus encompasses everything.
Baptism is one of those occasions where we step into a public setting and affirm our faith in Jesus and proclaim to all who are present that we belong to Him. It’s a chance to fly our flag and show the world that we are His.
We have a baptism coming up on October 23rd. If you are a follower of Christ and have not been baptized, perhaps it’s time. Frankly, baptism is not something we decide to do when we are ready. It’s something we do because Jesus told us to. Baptism is a symbol of cleansing and new life, but it is more than a symbol. It is an encounter with the Risen Christ. It is an immersion into the reality of the Trinity. It is a declaration. It is an act of faith. As demonstrated by the eunuch, it is a natural response of those who have heard the Gospel and put their confidence in Jesus.
So if you haven’t been baptized, do it on the 23rd. “Look here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?”
Our next Baptism Class is this Sunday, October 9 at 11 am in the library (M-205). We’ll also have a class at the same time and location on October 16. If you have additional questions or want more information, please contact Lorraine at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 983-0182 x33.