Wednesday, March 4 “Come Up” – Mark 1: 9-15
When have you felt beloved of God?
In Mark 1: 4–5 it says, “John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.”
And then we read in Mark 1:8, “I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit”.
I was in 7th or 8th grade when I went to a weeklong church camp with my best friend’s church youth group. As I remember it, during that week we were asked if our name was in the “book of life”. In other words, if we died, were we going to be saved and enter heaven? It all came down to whether we had been baptized. Many of the kids were putting on their swimsuits and going down to the lake and having the youth leaders baptize them at camp. I felt pressured by this since I had not yet been baptized but it just did not feel right to me. It felt like they were making it just a fun activity and less spiritual. And I would have wanted my family with me. I remember calling home and my mom said I didn’t have to do it if I didn’t want to.
Well, I eventually was baptized a couple years later at the Covenant Presbyterian Church by Reverend Bolin with my parents present. I was sprinkled with water in front of the congregation but I didn’t really feel very different. I don’t remember what I was expecting. It seemed like a ritual that needed to be done. Many children are baptized at such a young age that they never will remember the day of their baptism. Lately I have witnessed a lot of immersion baptisms, people with a story, needing forgiveness and cleansing of their souls. They choose to “go public with their faith”.
It is my belief that when you accept Jesus as your personal savior and surrender your life to him that you are “saved”. He will guide you in your journey of life through scripture and prayers as long as you continue to make good choices and follow his greatest commandments. Mark 12:30-31 “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength…and you should love your neighbor as yourself”. I am accepted as I am, forgiven of my faults and beloved of God.
Prayer: Thank you God for your love, grace and mercy all the days of my life. Amen.