Wednesday, March 4, 2009

On Baptism - e*r Week 3 Discussion Question

For: The Institute of Contemporary and Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen's University, Essentials Red Online Worship Theology Course with Dan Wilt

I attended a small Evangelical church in Spain in the early 90's. I remember being struck by the high importance they placed on baptism, particularly the preparation period leading up to the baptism. Something about the depth of thought and length of time that they required their members to go through before taking the step of baptism and the great celebration that followed each one drew me in to a greater understanding of the seriousness of this sacrament and made me want to participate in it again, even though my own baptism when I was younger had been utterly sincere.

I’ll never forget one of the baptisms I got to attend at the Lake of Banyoles. An all day affair, we ate together (communion), prayed and worshiped together, celebrating the lives of those being baptized. We gathered down at the shore as one by one they went in, rejoicing as each one came out of the water representing new life in Christ. The crowning touch was the enthusiastic flamenco-style guitar playing as people broke out into worship at the end.

What’s the fresh application for today? Maintain the depth of meaning of baptism, move it out of doors on occasion, eat and fellowship with one another, and celebrate! The old is gone. The new is here!

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