A Super Sunday
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Wow. What an amazing experience! Sunday, February 2 most of North America was thinking about nachos, commercials and some football game in New Jersey. But in the cafeteria of Wyoming Junior High School, the family of God grew by eight. And there was a party that was super!
Then it was time to welcome Jason, Stephanie, Cindy and Jen into the visible membership of Christ's church, celebrating what God has done in their lives, through the sacrament of baptism. In His death they are buried, in His resurrection they are raised to eternal life. New life! Infused by the Holy Spirit! You could imagine the angels singing along with praises to our risen Lord.
Why Baptize? Well, Jesus tells us to. What is it? Baptism is the physical sign that God adopts us into his family. It signifies entrance both into the wider church and into the community of a particular congregation. Baptism signifies and seals God's covenant of grace with us and our children--demonstrating that we are saved for eternity through his love. Baptism says "you belong here."
Water is the visible symbol that God has cleansed us of our sins through Jesus' blood.
After the grown ups were immersed, we followed the long-standing tradition of the church by welcoming new covenant children into the family of God. The parents of Aron, Jadyn, Jenna and Logan agreed to raise their children in the church as disciples of Jesus, so following our church tradition, these children were baptized with water on their foreheads.
As I led the way, the sacrament was also overseen by Rev. Dr. Randy Weener, a church planter and co-leader of One Wyoming and the South Grand Rapids leader for our extended church family. Also on hand were elder Roger Harkes from our sending church, and Chris' mentor, retired Pastor and church planter Harvey Heneveld.
Finally, we were able to share God's Word through the preaching of "The Rich Young Ruler" from Mark Mark 10:17-31, where Jesus tells His disciples how difficult it is for the wealthy to inherit the kingdom of God. Brian and the band closed out our morning with Everything, Everything and we left with a song on our hearts.
Death is destroyed. All because of the life, death, resurection and ascension of our Lord. Today we celebrated eternal life. So it's understandable that there were a lot of smiles, happy dancing and tears of joy. We're so happy to welcome our brothers and sister in Christ into our church family and look foward to living life together, walking in God's Word. What a great God we have!
Congratulations to all these people and thanks to everyone who helped make it such a special experience for all: Pastor David Drake & Crosswinds Church Wyoming, Brian Fraaza Band & The River Church, Mr. Roger Harkes & Beverly Reformed Church, Rev. Harvey Heneveld, Lennard Street Ross & Street Alert Films, Ed Runyon & Don't Blink Photography, Rev. Dr. Randy Weener & One Wyoming/South Grand Rapids RCA, so many churches and individual donors who contribute prayer, money and materials to allow us to gather every Sunday, and of course, all the amazing Elevation Church volunteers. Thank you all!
As for me, what a privilege! Today I turn 38 and as I look back on yesterday I'm pretty sure I have the best "job" ever. Being part of Jesus breathing new life into these people whom He loves and whom we care for so much is one of the hightlights of my life.
New Jersey had a football game but the real party was in the City of Wyoming.