Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Into Newness of Life

Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into

Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?

Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death,

so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father,

so we too might walk in newness of life.

Romans 6

I'm not one who typically celebrates the anniversary of my baptism, but this year it just felt like the thing to do. One, I now go to a church that acknowledges the day, but also the phrase, "Walk in newness of life," has been circulating around my heart for the past several months.

So last week in the middle of my regularly scheduled existence, I remembered that 22 years ago on July 9th I made a profession of faith with the sacrament of baptism in a family friend's pool. It counts.

I can't be sure what my 9 year old self thought about God at that moment. I certainly did not understand fully what it meant to die in Christ and be raised to newness of life. Do I even understand that enough now? Probably not.

I always compare baptism to marriage in that you're standing there hoping you can keep your promises, but the best you can offer at that moment is your profession.

"I promise to love You always." Yeah, well, sometimes I'm more prone to kick and scream and act, well, unlovely.

"I believe in You." True then. Even more true today.

"I renounce Satan." Um. Duh.

And the profession goes on. I suppose I believed all of that 22 years ago, but standing here today, I cherish it. Stepping out of that water is when my living out that baptism began. Have I always lived like one completely forgiven and totally free? No. Do I always act like the Christian I professed to be that hot July day? Not hardly. It's okay.

As my hand touched the water last week for another one's baptism - I remembered. I remembered that as one redeemed I am dead to sin. I remembered that true life begins and ends with faith. I remembered that I share in the resurrection power by belonging to Him.

Newness of life available to me if I choose to receive it - 22 years ago, every day since, and this very day.

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