Rachel's Baptism December 16th 2006
Saturday 16th December 2006 I was baptised 'by full immersion' this means that I stood fully clothed in a deep pool of warm water with Ian on one side of me and my mum on the other. They each held my hands and took me backwards into the water so I was completely covered and then stood me upright again. Its sometimes called a 'believers baptism' because it says in the Bible 'believe and be baptised'.
Baptism is rich in symbolism. Water cleanses and cleans. Baptism is about a cleansing of the whole body, a sort of spiritual detox. Baptism is following the example of Jesus, who was baptised in the River Jordan. The River Jordan is symbolic in that it represents the dividing of the wilderness and the promised land.
This is what I said on Saturday to explain why I want to be baptised:
My journey of discovering and experiencing Godís presence in the world has been mysterious and yet tangible. My family showed me a genuine example of true faithfulness when they heard, obeyed and trusted God. I believe God is continually drawing people to him, and when I was confirmed aged 14 I declared to those present that I wanted to live my life for this purpose.
I believe Jesus came to earth around 2000 years ago to BE, to DWELL, to LIVE among a community and I believe that through his ministry, death and resurrection, he has provided the opportunity for every person to have life, life in all its fullness.
I believe God calls us to BE, to DWELL, to LIVE among a community to share his love. I stand before you today to declare that I want to continue to have life, life in all its fullness.
To me Christianity isn't about rules and religiousness its about freedom, choices, generosity, being real about life with its good times and difficult times.
I've experienced wonders of God: seeing elephants, lions, hippos, monkeys in their natural habitat in Africa, I've witnessed poverty stricken communities with their contrast of unreserved generosity, Iíve seen fantastic natural landscapes in New Zealand, and scuba dived in the ocean in Australia. Iíve known what it is to want and Iíve known what it is to receive.
And for me being baptised in this way means to be drenched, covered, renewed, and revived with the Holy Spirit in order that I may continue on my journey of discovery for such a time as this.
It was a significant event in my life and I'm grateful to Ian for leading the service and baptising me.
Thank you for reading, any questions do ask me,