Why the bath?
My first role as a minister was in a church in a small village in rural Herefordshire. About five years earlier the church building had been closed due to a rotten floor. The small congregation were now meeting in a portacabin.
The portacabin was pretty small so we decided together to begin a building project. We began to gut and renovate the original building so that we could use it for Sunday services and other activities. It was an incredible few months as we spent time working together and saw God provide the funds needed for the work.
Part of this renovation involved putting in a new baptistry – a pool that measured about 3m long, 1.5m wide and 1m deep – under the new platform at the front of the main meeting room. I still remember the builder’s look of confusion as he tried to figure out what we were going to use it for. He would regularly tell me he how he was progressing with our new bath!
Have you ever seen anyone being baptised? It can be a strange sight to see somebody standing in the water and then watching as they are put under and lifted back up. It’s not the sort of thing you come across every day. So why do we do it and what’s it all about?
The first thing to say is that it is something Jesus told us to do. As a church we are a group of people who follow Jesus and we want to live in his ways. Our understanding of the Bible is that Jesus taught that when somebody becomes a Christian they should be baptised. So that’s what we do.
However, that’s not all. Baptism is also a picture of what the Bible says happens when someone becomes a Christian. The Bible tells us that when someone put’s their faith in Jesus their sins are forgiven – they are washed away.
The Bible also tells us that a person is changed when they commit their lives to Jesus, they become a new creation. Both of these statements of the Bible are pictured in baptism as someone goes under the water and then comes up again.
Baptism is also an opportunity for someone to publicly show their faith in Jesus. As someone is baptised they make a statement that they are trusting Jesus and committing their life to following him.
Why am I writing about baptism here? The reason is that at 11am on Sunday 15thSeptember we will be having a baptismal service and I wanted to take the opportunity to invite anyone who wanted to come along. It would be a good opportunity to see what we do and to hear more about what it means to be a Christian.
If you want to get in contact to talk about God or what the Bible has to say you can contact us at the church or through our contact page.