Last weekend at church we celebrated baptism. People of various age, male and female, new believers and those who’ve been on the journey for years, gathered together to give praise to God by being submerged in the water. It is one of my favorite parts of church. Seeing people stand up in front of friends and family to publicly announce Who they choose to follow makes me cry such happy tears. It wrecks me in the best way.
The crowd to be baptized included a number junior high students. As I watched them step into the tank, my son, who serves in the junior high ministry, told me about the students and in whose small groups they belonged. Seeing the young men and women choose Christ filled my soul with hope for the next generation. I prayed for their walks to not falter, to have strong mentors, and to know deep, fulfilling relationship with God as they grew.
One young girl stepped into the water and began confirming her faith with the pastor at her side. When he finished he asked her, “Are you ready?”
Her response was sweet and strong, “I’m ready.” And she was plunged down into the water and came up soaking wet and celebrating the soaking of her soul in Christ. I felt so honored to watch her baptism. I cannot recall her name, but she is my sister in Christ. Jesus met her where she was at her age, just the same as He met me all those years ago.
Just like that young girl, there came a day when I was asked if I was ready. Ready to enter into a life that would be unlike any I had ever imagined or read about in my twenty years. I grabbed onto the hands of Jesus that day in 1990 and said first in a whisper and then a shout, “I am ready. I am ready to accept the grace You offer.” I allowed Jesus to pour over me all the peace that I never thought I would feel. All the forgiveness I knew I didn’t deserve. All of the joy I never, ever, thought I would be allowed in my life.
O Best Beloved, there are so many of us who need to reach out to Jesus and admit that we are ready. Ready for the grace, ready for the forgiveness, ready for the everlasting love, the peace, the joy that God is offering through His Son. All we need to do is answer the question God is asking, “Are you ready?”
I pray for you Dear Ones, to not let one more day go by without taking hold of the hand of Heaven. Accept His invitation to the Faith Journey, you will never be the same.