Baptism – Immersed in God’s Love

I was baptized in a small non-denominational church when I was ten years old. Frightened after a sermon that left me believing I would be "left behind" if Christ returned, I ran up the aisle and confessed my belief that Jesus was my Lord and Savior.Within a few minutes I was in the baptistry (a large tank of water) and immersed (dunked) by our preacher. My baptism was different in many ways from the baptisms I've been part of as a Pastor in The United Methodist Church. Generally, we baptize infants by sprinkling, although baptism at any age and by pouring or immersion is equally permissible. Yet, though outwardly different, my baptism as a ten-year-old is accepted by The United Methodist Church as sacred and valid. Why? Because in the end, what validates and makes a baptism holy is not our actions or the mode employed but the actions of God. It is God who pours out his grace and Spirit. It is God who unites us with Christ. And it is God who raises us to new life. Any baptism that leads us into the Kingdom of God is a baptism to be celebrated.     As we gather this week on "Baptism of the Lord Sunday,"  may God grant us all the peace of hearts sprinkled by his Spirit, immersed in his love, and poured out upon the altar of service in his name! Pastor Bob Weeks