Friday, March 4, 2016

Day 21: Friday: The love that surrounded me

I was baptised on March 27th, 1955, aged 17. The Sunday before I had made my confession of faith after walking to the front during the singing of “Just as I am.”
    I had been a long time coming to my decision. I was worried about my parents’ reaction. We were not a Christian family. However, they were not surprised, and were present for the baptism.
    I had started Sunday School aged 5. Later on I was involved in youth groups and taught Sunday School. I grew up as part of a small caring church. Mr Gilmore, our minister, came to my home to talk about baptism and becoming a full member of the congregation. I don't remember much about what was said, but I do remember the pleasure in his anticipation of my baptism.
    On the night, I arrived at church in my white speech night dress. Mrs Morris, whom I had always thought of as my church mother, helped me get ready. I was nervous and excited.
    I stepped down into the baptistery where Mr Gilmore was waiting. He asked “Yvonne, do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and your personal Saviour?” “I do,” I replied. He lowered me deep into the water, then lifted me up. I remember the feeling of weightlessness coming out of the water, Mrs Morris wrapping me in a large towel and a big hug, and getting out of my wet dress, with too many buttons for my excited fingers to deal with.
    One thing that especially remains in my memory is the love that surrounded me at the time and has stayed with me, and has been the heart of my Christian life. And I thank God.

Was love part of your experience of baptism? How did people show love to you? How do you love others now? Pray that your love will increase in the coming year.

Reflection by Yvonne Joyce, South Yarra Community Baptist Church, 21 January 2016.

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