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The Joy of Baptism

Recently my sister and brother-in-law did a bunch of work to put old home videos into digital format. It’s been pretty great to stroll down memory lane, remembering what life looked like in the late 80’s. Boy oh boy has video technology made great strides since those days. All the videos were taken on a big, bulky camcorder that used full size VHS tapes! Not the picture quality we’ve all become accustomed to seeing. Even though the video quality isn’t great, it’s sure a blessing to have those memories captured to re-enjoy. And I am re-thankful to have grown up in a family where I was loved, nurtured, and where I was introduced to Jesus at an early age.

Of all the videos I’ve watched so far, there is one that stood out to me the most. It’s a video of my baptism. I confessed faith in Christ early on, I think somewhere around 5 years old. And so in 1988, when I was 7 years old, I decided to take the step to be baptized. I am confident that it was something I did not decide solely on my own, but at least in part out of encouragement from my parents. I spent all my growing up years attending Minnehaha Community Church (which later became Glenwood Community Church), and the pastor in my earliest years was a man named Dick Schwab. Pastor Schwab was such a faithful, encouraging, gentle shepherd, and it was so fun to see the video and be reminded that he was the man who baptized me.

As I watched the video, I was struck by his pastoral demeanor, and was so encouraged by the words he spoke over me as he prayed for me. In many ways, it felt like hearing a blessing that was prayed over me, which the Lord, in His great kindness, saw fit to allow to come to pass in my life. It brings me to tears to watch the video, to think that God heard the prayers of Pastor Schwab, as well as so many other faithful men and women in my life over the years who have prayed for me, and He has worked in me in response to those prayers. How incredible! (You can watch the video here if you’d like: https://vimeo.com/688162813)

We have an opportunity for baptism here at EBC in a couple weeks. Our baptism services are my very favorite services we have during the year. What a joy to share in the excitement of baptism with others in our congregation who have confessed faith in Jesus, and who have chosen to follow Him in His command to be baptized. This coming baptism opportunity is uniquely special for Leanne and myself, as our oldest daughter, Mabel, is a part of the group being baptized on Saturday night. What joy it was for us to talk with her about her hope to be baptized, and to have confidence that yes, she understands what she is doing, understands what baptism means, and is committed to following Jesus. I am so thrilled for the opportunity to baptize her, and I have been thinking a lot about what I will say and pray over her in those moments. What a tremendous privilege!

If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, and if you have not yet been baptized, it is not too late to join the group being baptized on March 26-27. And if you are a parent of a child/teen and you know they have trusted Jesus, I really want to encourage you to initiate the conversation with them, asking if they would want to consider being baptized that weekend. If you want to have that conversation, but you’re not sure how to do it, reach out to me and I’d love to talk with you and help you feel equipped in talking with your kids about baptism. I sure am looking forward to the March 26-27 weekend, and I hope it excites you too, to see the work the Lord is doing in the lives of kids, teens, and adults in our church!

Ryan Donovan

Categories: Evergreen Connection