Last night, Larry Weinapple put on Christ in baptism at New Vintage Church. Larry is a middle-aged man with an extremely checkered past. He reconnected with a couple of friends a few months ago. They invited him to New Vintage and began sharing Christ with him. A few months later, his childhood friend baptized him into Christ.
I never get tired of witnessing baptisms. Without fail, there are always smiles, often tears, and an overwhelming sense that God has allowed them to "forget what lies behind," in the way Paul forgot his life as Chief of Sinners–not through amnesia, but by viewing everything in his life through the prism of grace.
In that little, roll-in baptistry, Larry started a new chapter. In a sense, the whole church did–though we haven't launched officially yet. We were reminded that God is never done with any of us, and God is actually using our fledgling group to carry out His work in the world. We were also reminded of our own baptisms–and the upward call of Christ that accompanies it. I'm thinking about Larry this morning, and about these words from Paul. I hope they inspire you, as well:
"We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:4).
Today, Christian, like Larry…