I just got home from a night of worship. A celebratory night of singing praises and worshiping the God who calls the wretch by name, who calls the wretch beloved. As part of the celebration, there are people baptized into new life at the side of the stage. As the congregation sings His praises, we rejoice along with the angels in heaven at each rebirth.
Tonight, I paid closer attention than usual to the baptismal. Our friends were baptizing their three children and I didn’t want to miss them, so I noticed nearly every person that approached the promise of new life.
There was one woman who was baptized in jeans. Jeans. I guess she didn’t expect to accept such an invitation tonight. But she couldn’t refuse. And maybe she understands something most of us are still trying to wrap our hearts around. Jesus says come as you are.
There was a gray-haired woman who was baptized too. Because it’s never too late. Just ask the sinner that hung next to Jesus. As long as you can confess with your mouth and believe in your heart, there is a place for you in Paradise. But the clock is ticking...
There were children and teens and adults. There were families and singles, men and women, young and old. And tonight they said yes to Jesus. All of them.
It was a vivid display of the good news that brought great joy for ALL the people – from the city of David to the ends of the earth.
And it was a good reminder, too. There are many more who need this message of hope. And they are closer than I think.