Last weekend I witnessed something amazing that has stayed with me all week. I witnessed over 100 precious souls leave their Easter outfits and Easter hairstyles and Easter expectations behind and in front of a huge crowd of strangers, they accepted a spur-of-the-moment invitation to announce their surrender to Christ through baptism in water. I have never seen anything like it. So many precious souls chose boldness and faith and surrender and obedience and humility over pride and procrastination. I’ve been thinking about this all week… when most of us prepare for Easter services, we prepare to put our best face forward. Our best happy family behavior. Our best hair & makeup. Our best church smiles. Our very best new clothes…But Saturday and Sunday, our pastor challenged us to act NOW. To stop thinking about egg hunts and family dinners and our pretty clothes and to start examining our faith and our doubts and our fears. To think about not only if we had privately settled the question of our salvation with Jesus, but to ask ourselves if we had also taken the very important step of publicly declaring that our lives, our plans, our hopes, EVERYTHING, were surrendered to Jesus. Our pastor gave the invitation, and the people began to come. Some had only been believers for minutes, others for years and years, but together they came. They changed out of their best Easter clothes and soaked their best Easter hairstyles & washed off their Easter makeup. And joy filled my heart.“For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.” Colossians 2:12 (NLT)“We may never be martyrs but we can die to self, to sin, to the world, to our plans and ambitions. That is the significance of baptism; we died with Christ and rose to new life.” – Vance Havner“…And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes.” Galatians 3:27 (NLT) …Wet borrowed clothes. Soaked hair. BUT JOY.“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 (NLT)I’ve had some awesome Easters in my life, but this one – this one, I was a witness to real joy. I am so happy for all these precious people that I get to call brothers and sisters in Christ, and I am so, so thankful.
If you’re looking for a passionate community of believers… or if you’ve never considered walking into any church, anywhere… or if you’ve been hurt by people who called themselves Christians…or if you’ve got lots of questions and doubts… or if you look different or act different or talk different… if you’re curious… if you’re hurting… if you’re lonely… Come sing & learn & pray & serve (& fall down & get up) with us. We’re broken too, but we’re learning to love Jesus and love each other.