6 Became 7Posted: April 14, 2009
I told you last week that we would be baptizing new followers of Jesus as part of Awaken’s Easter celebration. We had 6 people – 5 adults and 1 child – ready and prepared to be baptized.
Then God stepped in and messed up our plans. And messed them up in the best and most surprising way.
After I preached, the baptismal candidates and I slid out of the service to get changed for baptism while the service wrapped up with a closing song. Just as I was starting to change, Jamie stuck his head in and said my cousin Bryan wanted to be baptized. My jaw dropped.
Bryan’s wife Cheryl is a cousin on my dad’s side of the family. After my dad’s funeral, they told me they wanted to check out Awaken on a Sunday morning since they live just outside of Columbia. They came for the first time on Palm Sunday and told me then that they would come again on Easter Sunday. When Cheryl arrived alone, she told me that Bryan was really sick and would not be able to come, even though he very much wanted to be there.
Well, about halfway through my sermon, in walks Bryan. He found Cheryl and my mom and sat in the end seat next to them. He was running a fever of over 100 degrees, but told them he knew just had to be at church.
When Jamie told me Bryan wanted to get baptized, I walked out to find him standing in the hallway weeping. He put his arms around me and said, “I grew up in a religious family, but never knew Jesus. Today, I know Jesus!” I about lost it.
We prayed and I made sure he wanted to get baptized. He told me there was no way he was leaving without getting baptized. So, with his regular clothes on, I baptized my cousin Bryan just minutes after he became a Christian!
We planned for 6. God planned for 7. He won, so 6 became 7! And, I couldn’t be happier or more grateful for how God is already at work in our “still-in-the-womb” baby church!