Thursday, 31 May 2007
how my baptism went
i know that my baptism was a month ago (at least) but i haven't had the chance to blog about it since then. here's how it went (in brief):
i was excited about getting baptised for weeks! about a month before my baptism, the main leader from the church i go to came to my digs. he explained the purpose, the physical action, the spiritual result, and the significance of baptism with reference to various places in scripture. i found that evening quite helpful. i hadn't realised before how it important it is, if one is capable, for a christian to get baptised.
i was still excited about my baptism on the days leading up to it. i had invited friends, my sister, and my nan.
the night before, my sister informed me that she could no longer make it. on the day, my nan actually did come! i was quite nervous on that day. i had planned to write out a testimony, because i had to give a spoken testimony during the ceremony before going into the water. i kept putting it off and eventually didn't write one. i also chose the songs to be played during the service on the day as well. i had only managed to obtain a copy of the church song book the sunday before. i ended up choosing songs that emphasised God's grace. it was the realisation of divine grace that helped me to become a christian, so these songs were quite significant to me even though i didn't know them.
the baptism service was held in northway evangelical church, a little (tiny hall!) church in the outskirts of oxford. we arrived early - more time to be nervous. :P our church had to "borrow" another church premises for the afternoon because they have a baptism pool and the hall we use doesn't because we gather in a school hall.
silly me! i didn't realise before how short notice i had given the singer/guitarist about the songs i wanted and they weren't ones that i remember us singing before. luckily, the music all turned out well and he had some songs of his own that he had planned to play anyway. :)
the head church leader gave a very brief sermon on the significance of baptism, then cued me to come to the the front.
okay, my testimony. it went surprisingly well! people said afterwards that i had seemed confident and clear. what a relief! :D
now for the dunking. it was literally that! full immersion in what appeared to be a miniature swimming pool with steps and a bath plug. the water was warm. mmmm...
i was asked three questions about my faith while having my arms crossed over my chest. after confirming these, i was dunked backwards, a person holding me on each side, and held underwater for a second or two.
when i was brought back up, people quoted scriptures and described images that came to their heads during the baptismal action. my heart was racing. later i was told that i couldn't stop smiling the instant i came out of the water - a joyous and relieved kind of smile. :)
after i had dried off and changed in a side room, i took my seat in the hall beside my nan. another church leader started another brief sermon, but i don't think it was specifically about baptism - i was too excited to pay full attention.
the baptism was so emotional. i couldn't calm down for the rest of the weekend and even the monday after. it was like a "power" weekend of some sort.
i'll never forget that day (or weekend), that milestone in my christian journey.