Every few years, our church has a sermon series that focuses on baptism and nothing else. The main focus it to educate those in the congregation of both where you should be before you are baptized and what the purpose of baptism is. The series finished up this weekend and as usual, there were more baptisms than a normal weekend service usually elicits. While it’s an understatement to say that the service was moving, the part that will probably put things into perspectives is: 686.
That is the number of people who came forward to be baptized this weekend. There were so many people after second service this Sunday, that an hour after service had ended there were still over 100 people waiting to be baptized. It was well organized, and they were bring people into the baptismal 10+ at a time, and they even had soap in the water just to deal with the large numbers of people going in and out. It was truly unbelievable to see.
While I was there, I was taping a video of a friend who was getting baptized, but I couldn’t resist the urge to snap a few photos of strangers as well. I will share one with you.
I’m not going to describe the feelings and the symbolism that I see in this image, instead, I will let each person pull from it what they see, but here is a picture of a person emerging from the water as their baptism is completing. Each person chose a shirt as they were in line to get baptized with a single word on it. Some said “Alive” while others said “Forgiven”. As you can see, both our senior minister and the woman watching her friend be baptized are wearing shirts that said “Free”. You were supposed to choose the word that best symbolized how you felt your soul would be after baptism.
Without further chatter, here’s the image: ISO 1600, 42mm, f/5.6, 1/100sec