Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Day 19: Wednesday: I had to obey

I got baptized when I turned 14 after a full year of discipleship training. When I decided that I wanted to be baptized, hell broke loose at my local church. I guess this happened because I was not quite talkative and I was always minding my own business. Neither did I interact with young people nor did I talk about my personal life so those who did not have a genuine relationship with me were curious and started asking weird questions like: Do you want to be a priest? Do you want to become a pastor?  Let’s say that in Latin American culture if you are a private person people kinda dislike that.
    I got baptized but before and during the process, I freaked out. I was there, in front of everyone inside of a tiny baptistery. What made me feel awkward were the number of people looking at me. I do understand it is a public event in which you tell your fellow churchgoers that you want to be a voting member; however, being in the public eye made me think about whether people do it because of social pressure or because they really want to participate. In my case, it was part of a commitment. It is a personal decision.
    I had to wear a white robe and thongs (an institution in Chile), therefore, since the very beginning the whole process was, somehow, special. Additionally, due to the fact I was raised in a Baptist family, some people argued that my process was just a logical step, or something I was meant to do, sooner or later. Those remarks notwithstanding, I must say that I did it because I felt I had to obey God’s command to be part of his people.

Was obedience an element of your baptism? Is it an element of your faith now? Is there an area of life where you are not following God’s will for you? Tell God about it, and seek God’s help to do God’s will with a glad and joyful heart.

Reflection by Francisco Naranjo, South Yarra Community Baptist Church, 29 January 2016.

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