Monday, August 13, 2007

Let Us Gather at the River

My husband's niece Em was baptized on Sunday by her pastor and grandfather (aka Papa, Beef's dad). We are all so proud of her and honored to be able to share in this experience with her. She accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior during a VBS this summer.

Her baptism brings back memories of mine as I was baptized in the cool waters of a creek near my home when I was eleven. I had never even heard of an indoor, heated baptismal pool a lot of other churches are able to have. My parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and on back further were all baptized in the same creek although in different sections depending on the amount of rain.

A baptism signifies leaving our old ways behind and becoming a new creature in Christ who has been washed clean from all sin. Simply put, it's an outward sign of an inner change. At the time, I didn't fully understand the meaning as I do today, hence me tearing up every time I witness a baptism.

My immersion per se took place in the muddy waters of a local creek during the hot, muggy August summer of 1990. I, along with my sister, my on-again, off-again childhood boyfriend and a small collection of a few other new believers, stood in knee-deep water waiting our turns to be dipped.

My sister went first. Then, I, clothed in a hot pink button-up dress (popular color back then), stood within the outstretched arms of my then pastor and great-great-uncle, Brother Austin. My dress barely skimmed the surface of the water causing it the rush up as he lowered me into the creek, my nose-pinched with a soft, white handkerchief. As I raised up out of the water, I realized my beau as well as the rest of the church body got a sneak peek of me skivvies.

We all trudged our way out of the creek as our friends and relatives handed us dry towels. I noticed my well-worn white creek shoes were being stained pink as the water dripping from me was the same color as my dress. We then joined in a chorus of "Amazing Grace," shaking hands and hugging to celebrate what God had accomplished. Thankfully, no one mentioned my mishap, not even my mother.

I would love to hear your baptismal/christening/conversion experiences. Please leave me a comment.

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VAIL said...

I received Christ as my Savior at VBS when I was 6 (I was staying with my aunt that summer). I did not get to know Jesus as my friend, father, and comforter until I was an adult. My husband and I got baptized on the same day, in our church baptismal. Unfortunatley, the preacher decided to do it before the service, rather than after - so I had to sit the whole service with wet hair and half my makeup. Also, brilliant me had brought a change of clothes, but not undergarments. If it had been up to me I would not of sat in the service sans underware/bra, but my husband was already out there sitting down, so I had to join him!
Thanks for your comment on my blog abot the Movie Review. I will do Hairspray next week, I forgot I had seen that. It was very cute! However, if you have to choose one to see in the theater, I would choose the Bourne movie because of the special effects. Hairspray will not lose anything on the small screen.

annie said...

What a sweet story of your baptism Shawna. I could just visualize you in your pink dress and shoes...
I was baptized at church camp. It was in the pool. I remember the water looked like it had a fog over it and I thought it was very special. I loved the feeling of coming out of that water and feeling white as snow.

Susanne said...

Hi there!! Just wanted to let you know that it's PARTY TIME over at my blog!! Swing by and check it out!!!

Vader's Mom said...

Yippee for Em! I'm so proud of her and I love the big family photo at the end. You sure have a wonderful family!!