Baptism is more than a moment. It is about all the days and moments that follow after the baptism and what they will mean both to you and to those around you. We are not baptized for a moment, but to experience death with Christ so that we might become new creations that will live with him and for him in the days that are ahead. This in the moments that follow our baptism we need to find and to share with others the grace, the mercy, the love that we find and know on an ongoing basis because of a life sustained by the Life offered to us.
Baptism is a life of Christ (for it is not we who live but Christ in us who believe) lived in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit is a life that can be offered to others in service to enable them to discover the same things that others have and for those people to take for their very own. We live and lead others around us – where are we taking them and asking them to believe about God if we are not offering what we have? And how often are churches of every stripe in North America these days living just to survive and make their own ministries survive instead of looking to the Lord not only for life and provision, but to know and fulfill its mission thereby learning to thrive.
A colleague called me one day a while a while back and wanted to know how I managed to build up congregations in the multipoint parish to grow. Essentially, I told this colleague I work with whom I am given and those who will come and participate and go from there. And I have done this consistently in my ministry. It takes time, effort, and most of all patience but things can and do change. Loving people back into relationship with the Church is not an easy thing but it has to begin with getting them back to their first love Jesus and going from there.
It is always important to remember that if you have been away from God and from the Church that you are wanted, needed and loved. The Church in which you are baptized is not whole without you. You are the only you that God has and because of that you are needed in the Church to bring your gifts, time, talents and other things to bear on the life of the congregation. Baptism is not just a decision or a moment. It is a lifetime that is offered in love to God and in service to whomever we find as a neighbour.
We are made i the image of Christ to reflect his image, his light and love into the world that the world might discover and come towards the kingdom. He has purposed, pursued, and propelled us into life and ministry with him through the Spirit that we might glorify our Father in heaven. He will not give up on you so you might want to choose to surrender to him.
Remember, it is not about how wet you get, it is about how you live and preach it in the days after you are baptized that God concerns himself with. May you be blessed as you live out your baptism and your call.