Each Sunday I remind our congregation of the altar, a place of kneeling, praying, asking and interacting with God. It is a physical reminder of God's open door and open ear to our praises and our petitions.
Over the next month or so I want a physical reminder to inform and inspire us about another thing available from God. That available thing is the blessing of submitting everything to God. On Thursday of this week I will, in the Prayer Garden, be baptizing one of our CR friends. My friend will follow in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus when Jesus went down into the Jordan (Luke 3:21-22) and provided and example of submission to God the Father when He was baptized by John the Baptist. In our Hymnal the liturgy says, "Brothers and sisters in Christ: Through the Sacrament of Baptism we are initiated into Christ's Holy Church, incorporated into God's mighty acts of salvation and given new birth through the water and the Spirit. All of this is God's gift offered to us without price!" It is available to all who choose to become part of the life and journey of the Church. While baptism is not salvation, the vows said on Thursday will be giving of a new life to Jesus and submitting life to Him (which is Christ's act of salvation, being 'born again').
When I think of this young man's profession of faith in Jesus, his wanting to be 'all in' to whatever Jesus is doing in his life, his desire to 'seal' his profession of faith with baptism and desiring to become part of our fellowship of believers, I am thankful that this gift is openly, readily and universally available to every person.
So ... in a horse trough (adequately cleaned), in the Prayer Garden, inside the walls of this place we call Abbeville United Methodist Church, inside the heart of a young man ready to move from life in this world to life within the Kingdom of God, God will again do something He offers each of us. He will keep His promise of forgiveness. He will send His Spirit into a new heart. He will lead, direct, inform, awaken and empower a man to do all He calls him to do. And we will get to be a witness! Isn't that amazing? For that availability is the hope of every person and even the hope of creation itself.
I plan to leave the trough in the Prayer Garden over the next month or so. If any of you want to be baptized or be reminded of your baptism let me know. I would be honored to be part of Christ giving you a living well that will never run dry. Randy