Baptism…A Decision Of The Heart by Bea Wanna
In the name of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit, you will find an amazing love which will help you to believe. By your free will and at your elected time, you can return that love by the act of baptism. The story below is a simple formula for entering into God’s kingdom forever.
Adam was an energetic seven year old who never stopped. If you asked his grandpa Wayne, he would say that Adam was as smart as a ten year old. Adam was shy and although he was allergic to many things, he was never afraid to try something new. He even tried eating peas one day and everyone at the table laughed when they saw his expression. Handsome and tanned from living in a small Texas town called Clear Waters, you would often find him at the beach or in a pool where he learned to swim at the age of two. He loved water!
Adam’s parents both worked on weekends as restaurant managers. Every Friday his mom would pack his bags to get him ready for the trip to Grandma Ann’s house in the country. Watching his mom as she tried to squeeze everything in the suitcase, you would think he was going around the world.
On Sunday, rain or shine, Adam and his grandparents would get dressed and go to St. Peter’s Gate church. Ann helped teach Sunday school for special needs children. It was fun for Adam
and grandpa to hand out tablets and pens, put the chairs in a circle, and clean up afterwards. While they waited for the parents to pick up their children, Adam would get to play in a
classroom full of toys, markers and craft materials which made it hard for him to leave.
Ann had been talking to Adam since he turned 5 years old about good and bad, right and wrong, God and that ugly one the Devil. As Adam went more and more to church, all the teachers were saying the same things and singing the same songs about Jesus and his love for the world. He always felt real good when he was in church and felt in his heart that all the stories were really true. His belief grew stronger every day.
This year, just about every other Sunday, someone was getting baptized at St. Peter’s Gate. It felt like a chain reaction was happening in the community. Ann would ask Adam occasionally if he
would like to be get closer to God and be baptized. When Adam would say no, she would say, “When you are ready, we are ready for you”. Months passed by.
One day after a little boy about 5 years old was getting baptized, Ann looked at Adam and asked “Are you ready now”? The pastor was reading a verse out loud from the Bible which said “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost”. June had been a series of teaching lessons that repent meant to turn from doing bad things.
All of a sudden Adam turned to his grandma and said, “I’m ready. Ann said it wasn’t time to leave yet, that they still needed to wait for the blessing. Adam said again, “I’m ready”! I wished you could have seen Ann’s face when she realized he was talking about getting baptized. She almost fell out of her chair.
After church, Ann couldn’t get home quick enough. She called Adam’s parents with the good news and to see if she could begin plans for the Baptism in July. First thing Monday morning,
she was at the church, making arrangements and getting instructions. Some of the different types of Baptisms were full emersion inside the church, sprinkling from a Baptismal, and sometimes people
got baptized in a pool if there was a large group. Adam’s would be by sprinkling.
When evening came Adam listened closely as Ann prayed. He wondered how she had time for anything else. She always said, “Pray about everything!” She looked so funny when she made Adam’s favorite lemon-lime drink while singing the Lord’s Prayer out loud. Shaking the pitcher, her whole body looked like pudding in a bottle, fixing to explode. His grandma said the prayer was how she measured a perfect minute.
Adam was a good reader and could sound out most words, even though he may not have known what they meant. When he spent the night at his grandmas, sometimes they read the Bible. She had about ten Bibles (all of them different versions), but one was really big and had color pictures and maps. She read the story to him of Jesus and how he got baptized. On her bookshelf she had a white rock that came from the same Jordan river where Jesus was baptized. No one knew how that bird came down from heaven and found Jesus in the crowd, but Jesus obeyed God, got baptized and Adam wanted to do the same.
The first Sunday of July finally was rolling around so the lights went out early on Saturday night. Everyone would have to be at church early to talk to the Pastor. She was kind of like a principal only she didn’t carry a ruler, she carried a Bible. Grandma said it had fire and the voice of God coming from it, but mainly love. Adam thought to himself that if he saw her begin to open it, he was going to drop and roll, until he saw the love come out.
For today’s Baptism, Adam was wearing his first tie. He looked like a little gentleman and was very happy that his mom and dad took a day off from work for this very special day. As they walked to the sanctuary, they passed the children’s class where they were singing a new song about being in the Lord’s army. The teachers looked funny in their store-bought uniforms. Adam would be in the Army soon. He would be putting on a helmet of truth, and a breastplate against evil. That is what Baptism is. You can’t buy it anywhere.
It had been about 2 years since Adam’s family had been in church together and he hoped they remembered how to act. They were members of a different religion, but they were glad to be at St. Peter’s Gate . Grandma always joked that his mom carried everything but the kitchen sink in her bag, so he would be keeping a close eye on her today. When they got to church, she had to put it under the bench to make room for his uncle and aunt who had traveled from another city. Adam blushed a little when grandpa said how proud he was to be part of this milestone in his life. Wayne explained that meant he was taking a giant step for a better future and he was going to be just a little smarter and taller now.
Pastor Grace often visited the children ministries activities so all the kids knew her. Walking to where Adam was sitting, she asked if he believed in Jesus Christ and did he want to repent and follow him. “Of course I do”, was Adam’s reply and every smiled. Church began as usual and then the pastor called the family to the altar.
After baptisms, the pastors would carry the small babies in front of the congregation and would pick them up real high so everyone could see them. Adam hoped she wouldn’t try to pick him up because he was not a baby anymore. When Adam kneeled by the Baptismal, the pastor sprinkled water over his head and made the sign of the cross on his forehead saying “We are buried with him by baptism into death, that like Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life”. The entire event was over in ten minutes and Adam was exited that he was going to be a new person. He didn’t even get his shirt wet and everyone promised to pray for him which made him feel very comfortable and warm.
Church was dismissed and everyone hurried to Ann’s house where she had invited the neighborhood kids to come. There would be plenty of cookies, cake and pie for everyone. What a wonderful day this has been. Mom and Dad couldn’t stop hugging Adam and taking pictures to send to everyone who did not make it to the church. You could hear Adam telling his friends the story of his baptism and some of the kids wanted to know if they could visit his church.
Even though Adam was not a member of the church, he was still allowed to be baptized. You see it’s not about who you are or what club you belong to, it’s about believing in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. In the Bible it says, “One Lord, one faith, one baptism”. So whether you are seven or seventy, open your heart and come…now is the time.
© Copyright 2016 Bea Wanna. All rights reserved.