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Posts Tagged ‘an endless horizon’

Woohoo! It was a summer Sunday and I got to skip church, and go to the beach! Could life get better? Sun, sand, surf, and an endless horizon.Okay, so maybe it wasn’t quite like that. As a matter of fact there was no sun, not even blue sky. It looked like it might rain at any moment. It was cool, and breezy, and the forecast even had thunder and lightening in it.

I also did not get to skip church.

A twelve-year old friend of my son had invited us to a church service and to his baptism. We arrived, late, but thankfully the service had not yet begun. So, donning our flip flops and opening our camp chairs, we settled in to an outdoor sanctuary (my person favorite).

I cannot remember the songs that were sung. I do remember that the pastor talked about John the Baptist, baptizing Jesus, then his time of being tempted in the desert.

Matthew 3 tells this story.

John the Baptist wore clothes made of camel hair, and he ate locusts and honey … and I am pretty sure there was no chocolate to make the locusts go down easier! He also had just emerged from quite a while in the wilderness, so he probably was quite … naturally scented. If he were here today, he would probably go by ‘Johnny’, and most would see him as the equivalent of a hippie.

His message was, “repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” (v.2)

Then his cousin Jesus, who once set his feet to dancing while in-utero (John Lept), came to the river, and asked John to baptize him too. John was not so cool with that, as he felt way to under-qualified to do the deed. But, since Jesus is Jesus, John consented.

Now, back at MY beach: each of the three who chose to be baptized stood, spoke about why they wanted to be baptized, then whoever wanted to could go up, lay hands on them, and pray for them. It was pretty meaningful as friends, grandparents, and mentors spoke words of thanks, words of affirmation and words of blessing to God, on their behalf.

My son’s friend shared of how a close family tragedy made him look more seriously at his life. His words, though those of a twelve year old, were ones that reflected insight, awareness and desire for what he was choosing to do.

I am sure there were tears in every eye … I just couldn’t see them through my own.

Then people were invited to come and pray for him. His grandfather prayed, another youth prayed, then a familiar voice … that of my son. He spoke to our God as one who knows Him, intimately. He spoke as one who knows his friend, and who wants the very best for his buddy.

… and more tears were shed.

Then we all made our way to the water, where one by one, the three completed their public profession of a life committed to living with Christ, with an endless horizon as their backdrop.

… and more tears were shed.

As my son’s friend came to the edge of the water his mother hugged him, as did his father, who said, “I am proud of you, son” (or something very similar).

Oh, and the rest of the story from Matthew 3 …

“As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (v. 16-17)

An endless horizon.

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