Monday, April 30, 2012

Cheering for the Newly Baptized.

Before I get into the “meat” of this post,
I want to let you know... I am Loud.
In the past this has embarrassed my wife.
Such as, if you sit near me in a theater,
and the movie is at all funny,
you will hear me laughing!
If we are in our cars in connecting traffic lanes,
you may hear me sing-along with the music.
If you are visiting my neighborhood,
you will hear me playing with my daughter
long before you see me.

And when I am at church,
I cheer for those being baptized.
You see, I get excited for them,
and I want them to hear it!
(I have even considered running up to the baptismal,
but somehow I think my wife would oppose.
She would say it seems like I want the attention,
so I stay at my seat and cheer loudly enough for all to hear.)

Do you want to know why?
I want those coming out of the water
to imagine all the heavenly hosts rejoicing!

I tell you there will be more rejoicing in heaven
over one sinner who repents
than over ninety-nine righteous persons”
who do not need to repent.
-Luke 15:7 (paraphrase)

Do you believe God ever celebrates with you?

If so, what life moments would He find joy in?

I believe there are many,
yet we seem to discount them too easily.

For me there are some times which are obvious;
such as when I came home from prison,
and when I recommitted myself to God,
the morning after the accident which landed me in jail.
Then again when I committed to my wife before Him in marriage.

But I believe God celebrates with us in other times as well.
Such as when we stand firm in what we know is “right”
even though it may cost us our pride, job, or even our life.

I believe God smiles when we reach out to help others,
because then we are living out Christ among the world.

Yet even in the small things, I believes he laughs with me,
such as when I make my daughter giggle
by making a fool of myself for her entertainment.
And I believe He smiles when I show others grace
even after they have said something hurtful.

But the most evident is when I was baptized,
and I truly believe there was a celebration in heaven that day.
I even think my earthly father was there;
smiling, crying, and thanking God for not giving up on me.

And I know the same is available to you -
that God is looking for the times
when He can share in your celebrations.

Next time, will you loudly cheer those
who are baptized into the family of Christ?

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