One thing I love about my church is the experience of baptism. We are of the tradition of baptizing infants, as an acknowledgement and hope of what is to come…that the child would one day make a lifelong decision to follow Jesus.
But we also acknowledge the experience of believer baptism and this is my favorite. Years ago, my daughter Ellie led her best friend, Lauren, to Christ. They were around 8 years old. The story was so precious that the church staff decided to make a video of it to share with the congregation—two little girls sharing their story of their faith journey together in their own words. (See the video by clicking here.)
This video was the first of many, many videos as precious people of all ages have come to tell their story of faith before their baptism.
Last Sunday, an articulate thirteen-year-old boy shared his story and his baptism with the congregation. He told of his family and of his hobbies. He told of his beloved pets and his school. And then he told of his decision to follow Christ. He said that during a small group youth meeting he “heard” a still, small voice saying one word—Welcome.
Welcome. What a precious word.
Welcome to the family.
Welcome to a forever future.
Welcome to freedom from sin and past and worry and fear.
Tears were in my eyes as the congregation rose to their feet, clapping and celebrating with our newest family member. Even now, that one word, spoken by a thirteen-year-old faith-filled boy, echoes in my mind. And I want to share it with you, as it was shared with our church family and me.
Christ will always welcome you, no matter what.
That is something you can count on.