"Baptism – A New Way of Living"
Sarah Jo Sarchet is a Presbyterian pastor in Chicago. Recently, a 10-year-old boy in her congregation named Cameron, walked into her office and said he needed to talk to her. Fresh from soccer practice, and wearing his Cincinnati Reds baseball cap, he had a request for her. "I'd like to be baptized," he said. "We were learning about Jesus' baptism in Sunday School. The teacher asked the class who was baptized, and all the other kids raised their hands. I want to be baptized too."
Using her best pastoral care tone of voice, she said, "Cameron, do you really want to be baptized because everyone else is?" His freckles winked up at her and he replied, "No. I want to be baptized because it means I belong to God."
She was touched by his understanding. "Well, then," she said, "How about this Sunday?" His smile turned to concern and he asked, "Do I have to be baptized in front of all those people in the church? Can't I just have a friend baptize me in the river?" She asked where he came up with that idea. "Well, Jesus was baptized by his cousin John in a river, wasn't he?"
Caught off guard, she conceded, "You have a point. But, if a friend baptized you in the river, how would the church recognize it?" Realizing this was a teachable moment, she climbed up on her foot stool to reach for her Presbyterian Book of Order that was located on the highest shelf. But before she placed her hand on the book, he responded.
"I guess by my new way of living" he said.
She nearly fell off the foot stool and left the Book of Order on the shelf. Cameron's understanding was neither childish nor simple. It was profound. Baptism calls us to a new way of living.
Join us this Sunday as we hear the testimonies of those who are being baptized!