To baptize is to immerse. At least that’s how the New Testament Greek language refers to baptism. For those of you who were of the “sprinkled” variety…Don’t sweat it. You’re good. We celebrate the sacredness of this symbolic act at whatever age. Baptism is a significant event worth celebrating (see pic). Immersing ourselves in Christ is what happens over a lifetime. It can be like a road trip where — over time — we haven't realized just how far we’ve come because, well. . .the journey still feels looooong.
The idea is that we are “immersed” into a community. . . where we serve AND are served, love AND are loved, give AND receive. We simply can’t experience the impact of community with God (Father, Son, & Holy Spirit) and the church without being "all in".
We’re also immersed into a new identity, which represents profound Hope! It’s so easy to mistakenly draw our significance from accomplishment and earning, talent or intelligence. Identifying with Christ, though, creates a new confidence. “…the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice & righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the Lord.” (Jer.9:23-24).
Consider this, when we “immerse” ourselves in relationship with Christ, WE START WITH A DIVINE AFFIRMATION! Immediately following Jesus' own baptism — before he’s done anything to build a spiritual resume (healing, feeding, serving, forgiving, or suffering) — God speaks these words, “This is my son; whom I love. With him, I am well-pleased” (Mt.3:16-17). In other words, your position in Christ STARTS with privilege!!
Perhaps the thing that requires the most effort in Christian faith is turning toward — and returning to — the truth of this divine affirmation. But, it’s worth holding your breath for!