My father-in-law is a minister and on Mother’s Day, he baptized some of his students. We attend a Presbyterian church, but this was a full-submersion baptism, which isn’t always typical in our denomination. And incidentally, it was the first time my kids had ever seen this style of baptism. I had my three boys dedicated to the Lord so that they too choose when they are ready to make a public display of their faith. So, I was elated to find out that not only did they witness a baptism, but they saw their Papa perform it. This moment got their wheels turning, and their childlike faith kicked into gear.
As my kids and their cousin sat in church watching, they talked to each other about whether or not they want to be fully submerged when it is their turn to experience baptism. Meanwhile, these little cousins are only ages 8, 6, 4, and 3. But there they were talking about their big baptism day nonetheless. They already knew it meant something powerful and memorable…something special. In fact, when my father-in-law was finished, he walked by and my eldest son said, “Hey Papa! Will you do that to me one day?” He couldn’t control his excitement about experiencing his own baptism, even if he didn’t totally grasp what a public display of faith really means.
It’s That Simple
When my kids got home from church they wanted to dissect what they experienced. My eldest son particularly intrigued by submersion baptism. So, I asked him if that is something he wants to do one day and he said, “Yes! But what do I have to do to have a baptism?” And I said, “Well, you only have to say out loud that you believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you accept Him into your heart, and you want to live your life following Him.” His response…so pure and innocent…
“That’s it? Well, I can definitely do that!”
His words touched me. “That’s it.” As adult Christians, we overanalyze and overcomplicate everything. But at its core, being a Christian and outwardly proclaiming our faith is very simple. It is a matter of believing, accepting, and following Jesus. We don’t have to look a certain way, go to a certain church, worship a certain way, attend a certain number of events. We only need to follow and obey.
If an 8-year-old can figure it out, then certainly we can too.