Several weeks ago, on Pentecost Sunday 2009, our pastor gave a message on baptism, and how our hope is surprised when we are baptised. Among many other examples from scripture, Pastor Kerry shared the story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch he meets along the road (told in Acts 8). The eunuch, who was reading a passage from Isaiah when Philip passed by, asks the meaning of the scripture.
“Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus” (v.35).
The eunuch’s response to hearing the gospel? “As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?” And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.” (v.36-40).
The message at church that Sunday, in a similar way, was followed by the incredible invitation to be baptised on the spot, as the followers of Jesus did so many years ago.
Pastor Kerry shared, “If you have a full change of heart, I’m sure we can find you at least a half-change of clothes!” And as promised, just a few of the staff had known of the message ahead of time and prepared with t-shirts and towels.
191 people were baptised that day, identifying with Christ’s death and resurrection publicly, spontaneously.
(Here, Pastor Roger baptizes Yolanda, whose husband & young son were also later baptized on the same day!)
My heart was so full of joy that I wept as the people came down the aisles, one after another after another, some alone, some with a spouse, many as entire families together! I cannot even write about it now without again weeping with joy!!! God is so good, so big, so powerful.
Read the whole Spontaneous Baptism story here (it’s short and worth the read!): http://www.ncnnews.com/nphweb/html/ncn/article.jsp?sid=10000011&id=10007206
And if you know Jesus and have not taken the plunge into the waters, I ask, as the Ethiopian did, why shouldn’t you be baptized?! Something happens in the water!!!