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the simple life

"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Monday, February 21, 2005

Baptism: Monday

After 10 years of disobedience, I am finally getting baptised this Sunday. I thought I'll blog about my personal reflections on baptism this week. I want to be prepared on Sunday. I want to participate fully and meaningfully. I want to fully understand the significance of baptism.

I am grateful that some of you will be able to come as witnesses.

For the rest of you, witness my thoughts.

"Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." Romans 6:3-4.

What is happening this Sunday is that I will be prayed for by a pastor and he will baptise me in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I will stand in the pool, bend backwards until my body is submerged fully in water and then they will help me up (hopefully).

There are 2 elements here: the immersion ("buried with him") and the coming up from the waters ("raised up from the dead").

Funny enough, I'm actually nervous about the physical part of being immersed. I'm not the most flexible person around so I am hoping not to give the pastors a hard time.

In the spiritual sense, I'm facing the same problems. Being buried with Him is a lot harder than begin raised up from the dead.

Being buried with Him means to me
1) being God-centered rather than self-centered
2) my values, convictions, and behavior in word and deed being governed by the Bible
3) and to suffer for doing good.

As I reflect on my 16 years as a Christian, there are many things I have done that I'm not proud of. I know I will never be perfect on this earth. But there is no escaping of personal responsibility. I fall so short in the exercise of love and self-control, among other things.

But as I come to be baptised and I stand before the cross, I'm glad that I do not come to God with my successes, my abilities, my holiness and my righteousness. Instead, I come with brokenness, pain, struggles and fears. It is as Jesus has said. He has not come for the righteous but to call sinners to repentance.

I'm really glad for those of you who are coming to be my witnesses. I hope that you will be an active witness, whether you're Christian or not. As you see me immersing and coming out of the water, remind me, in the days of my life, that I identify with the death and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

To remind me that it is no longer I that lives, but Jesus that lives in me.


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