“We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with Him in His death, we will certainly also be united with Him in His resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be rendered powerless, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.” ~ Roman 6:4-6, NIV
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” ~ Colossians, 3:1-3, NIV
They walked arm in arm to the water’s edge. Two generations. One, a man of the cloth, sporting a graying beard. The other man on the brink of his teen years, a young man. Both, disciples of Jesus Christ.
The cold mountain stream flowed gently beneath the shadow of the cross proclaiming its glory from the nearby steeple. Onlookers stood quietly as the two waded into the water. Several women wiped tears. Several men stood with arms crossed, giving that manly, stoic appearance while choking on the lump in their throats. Together, we witnessed the miracle of the gospel: New birth. New life. New purpose.
The scene took me back to the moment of my baptism…shivers from the cold water, shivers from the realization that I was telling the world that I loved Jesus and had decided to follow Him wherever He may lead. It was easy to relive the water surging over my body as the pastor plunged me into its depths. I remember the thrust of power I felt as I resurfaced from that watery grave. New birth. New life. New purpose.
That’s what Tanner experienced this past Sunday. He was the young man walking arm in arm with my husband into the pristine waters of new life. As he resurfaced from beneath the water’s burial, Tanner set his heart on Jesus. The Spirit of God embraced him and blanketed him with the Father’s love. My husband placed Tanner’s hand into the hand of God for all the world to see. Tanner will never walk alone. God will fulfill His purposes in Tanner as he sets His mind and heart on things above.
I love the way The Message explains it, “So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up and be alert to what is going on around Christ – that’s where the action is. See things from His perspective. Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life – even though it is invisible to spectators – is with Christ in God. He is your life.” ~ Colossians 3:1-3, MSG
He is your life…
He. Is. Your. Life.
Father, You are everything to me. I love You with all that I am. Thank You for Your resurrection power that resides in me and in all those who call You Lord. Help us to walk in newness of life. Burn the image of baptism into our spirits and make it come alive with Your Spirit. May it never take on the appearance of another ritual, another hoop to jump through. No, Lord, cause the meaning and purpose of Your command for water baptism to awaken us to live for You. We love You, Lord and we give You praise.