Sunday, April 2, 2017
Ez. 37:1-14; Ps. 130; Rm. 8:6-11; Jn. 11:1-45
It was spring 1960 and the waters of the Pascagoula River were still running cold. However, I hardly cared about the water temperature as I walked off the sloped river bank into the dark water where the preacher was waiting to baptize three people. You see, in those days where I grew up in the Pentecostal faith, baptism was not scheduled. It was immediately after repentance and this was after the Sunday night service (Ref: Acts 2:38).
This spot on the river is still etched in my memory. It was known to all the town residents as “The Bayou” and the river bank was just hard dirt and gravel as it was well used as a fishing and swimming hole. As it turned out, this spot on the river was also perfect for baptisms. It had an easy access for one or two cars where the drivers could park on the river bank and shine the headlights into the water. My dad was the music leader and always brought his guitar to the riverside service. The song I remember him playing was “Are You Washed in the Blood?”
As a pre-teen I had felt the call to follow Jesus and there I was, anxiously awaiting my turn to receive the promise. The other two were teenagers, standing right behind me, who seemed to be playing and just having fun. That night was different for me. I remember being focused on the promise.
As we enter this season of Lent, I am thinking of all that Jesus sacrificed for me. The least I can do for Him is to honor His life and give up something for Him. Forty days is a small sacrifice for His gift, the gift of the Holy Spirit.