Today I stood, clothes soaking wet, taking a look around at the sizeable crowd that had gathered for the occasion.
And I was grateful and full of joy.
Across the Causeway, at Northeast Point people were mingling, chatting, some hugging others who were similarly dampened by the cold water of the Atlantic.
No matter the time of year, it’s always cold. Only the temperature of the air changes. And today it was beautiful, sunny, and warm. Perfect for what we were doing.
We represented a handful of local churches joining together to celebrate as seven people entered their baptismal waters.
For my part, I had the privilege of baptizing a young woman from our church and my twin 12 year old sons. What a gift to be able to do so. It was an honour to baptize them.
Two other pastors led four more into the water to confess their faith in and commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ.
It was beautiful. It was brilliant. It was glorious, absolutely glorious.
You see, it’s on days like this I’m reminded what it means to be a pastor. Because as I watched all of the people there, from a bunch of different churches, talking, mingling, laughing, and, in the case of the kids, playing, I realized just how big and wondrous God and his kingdom and his story of grace are.
What God is up to is so much bigger than me.
But here’s the crazy thing. I get to participate in what he’s doing. So do you.
When I baptize someone, I get to play one small part in their story, in their walk with God. I may baptize someone, but they belong to Christ. And what Christ is doing in their life is not under my control but his.
I felt the same way as I watched all of these people, believers I know from different churches, talking together.
A friend of our sons, who is more or less the same age and had already been baptized, gave each of them a beautiful handwritten letter, congratulating them on their baptism. They have known her since they were five years old. She and her family used to attend our church, but even though they no longer do, they are still friends.
What God is up to is also bigger than any one church.
We can’t control what God does. How he chooses to work in someone else’s life, and in this or that church, is entirely up to him. He is sovereign and he is mighty and he is gracious.
And he is at work—in your life and in the lives of people around you, pursuing, extending grace, inviting each of us to trust in him and to rest in his presence and promises revealed in the good news of Jesus.
Today was a good day. Today I was a witness to how God has drawn people—young and old—to place their faith in him. I was a witness to the ongoing power of God’s grace in our world. Baptism tells the story of God’s grace. It’s a story I never tire of hearing.