Thursday, April 24, 2008

Baptized into Arms of a Mother

These are pictures from Easter Sunday. On a day when people around the world celebrate the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, we gathered in the water with Ashley Gibbs (on the right) to join in a declaration that Jesus Christ lives to breathe life into people.

Ashley is one of the most mature teenagers I've ever been around. She is already a loyal Christ-follower who has an understanding of the cost of following Jesus.

Below is how our Easter Service unfolded:
Intro Song--I Stand in Awe
Family Matters--Steve Sandifer
Song--Be Still and Know
Message #1 (I preached for about 10 minutes exploding the image of Jesus becoming a lamb. He chose the path of descending.)
VIDEO--The Crowd or the Cross
Song--When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
Song--Lamb of God
The Lord's Prayer
VIDEO--It's Friday, but Sunday's Coming
(As soon as the video ended, the screen lifted, and I was standing in the water between Ashley and her mother Debra)
Baptism of Ashley Gibbs
Song--What the Lord has Done in Me
Song--Christ the Lord has Risen Today
Song--Shout to the Lord
Song--All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name
Message #2 (I preached for a few minutes on what it means to live a resurrected life)
The Lord's Table (We ended by inviting all of Ashley's family around a table to participate in the Table of the Lord)


This was the 2nd time that I have baptized a teenage girl in which I have invited the mother to join us in the water. Here's the idea--parents are present when a baby is born into the world, why should they not be in the water when their child is born into Christ? As one who has baptized a few teens over the past decade, these are two of the baptisms that will always be fresh in my mind. I get to lift a child of God out of the water into the open arms of a parent. (Now that makes tears come to my eyes.)


Artist-Tim said...

Hi Josh,
I have thought for a long time that baptism should be much more meaningful in our community, and anything we can do to deepen the experience is worthwhile. This includes entering the water to receive those we love. I am all about the concepts John Mark Hicks unwraps in his book.
Praise God for the witnessed testimony your community experienced on Easter!

jenlowe said...

I think that it is wonderful to have a person's baptism linked to their family. I also like the way we have the person's family and close friend participate in communion afterwards with the entire body. It makes it a very meaninful day.

jenlowe said...

I need spell check! I meant to write meaningful day!

Josh Ross said...

I think it is very important that we attempt to become intentional to make baptism more of a communal event. Baptism isn't just about "status change."