Tomorrow, we have the fabulous privilege of baptising new follower of Jesus. It’s a privilege because we’ll be celebrating her journey into life that can be lived “in all its fullness”, as Jesus promised.
In an age of understandable suspicion of religion, especially religion taken seriously, how does this sound to you?
Religion is a dodgy concept, we believe. It’s something people use to please God so that they can get to heaven or feel less guilty. Or worse, as cover for their own dark agendas.
At Colchester Vineyard, we don’t believe we can do anything to earn God’s approval. In fact, we believe the opposite: that God has already reached out to us in the person of Jesus to give life by sacrificing his own life.
And when we accept this, the act of baptism becomes the outward sign of an inner truth: that we can put our messy, disappointing, hurt, self-serving past behind us and we can start again in a new direction. The past is drowned in the water, and life takes on a new hope.
Did Jesus say become religious? No. He asks us to follow him into an exciting journey of hope and faith, heading for compassion, kindness and service.
Baptism is the first, glorious sign that an adventure into fullness has begun.