I have been called to be a servant of God.
I absolutely credit that to my family’s decision to baptize me as a child. Through that sacrament and as members of the Catholic Church, they promised to raise me in the full knowledge of God’s love for me. They provided me with a foundation of support and guidance that has helped shape me into the person I am today. They brought me into a family with the same mission – to love me and help me on this journey of faith from the very beginning. I was raised by parents, godparents, grandparents, and all sorts of incredible family members who have incredible relationships with God and who have taught me more than I could ever explain. In no way do I ever want to take away from that beautiful gift they gave to me.
But my spiritual journey is my own, and I have to figure out what that means in regards to the rest of eternity, because I am a servant of God. He is calling me to great things…and it all starts with Jesus. I am searching for a relationship with Him that transcends all things. I want to love as He does, and that includes living like He did.
When Jesus was baptized, he identified himself with our sinful nature. Why would the perfect Son of God need to be cleansed of anything? He did not need to be forgiven, but instead, He gave us a perfect example of obedience to God’s will for His life. Through baptism, Jesus accepted God’s mission of servanthood and leadership and began His public ministry that ultimately led to death on a cross and the resurrection that freed us from all sin and shame. When Jesus came out of the water after He was baptized, God’s spirit came upon Him and validated His true identity:
“And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.'”
Jesus was obedient to God’s calling on His life, and it all started at this moment. After His baptism, Jesus began his mission here on earth and trusted that God would lead the way. In following His example, I am at a point in my life where Jesus must lead, and I will follow. My Savior deserves this act of faith because I am being called to serve and follow Him right now. Not later, when things are less chaotic, or when the “time is right.” Not someday, when I feel ready or settled or more spiritually fit. This transformation of heart is not something to be hidden or brushed away. When I meet with my God face to face someday, I want to hear the words, “You are my child, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” I want to look back and know that I tried my very best to follow that calling that has been rooted in my heart – to love Him with all that I am. And it starts now.
So after all this, it’s probably pretty clear that I’m going to be baptized – that is, baptism by immersion. This will be my public declaration of faith as an adult and follower of Christ – my message of love to my Savior and the beginning of this journey called life with Him at the center. My baptism will be taking place this Easter, of all days – I can’t think of a more meaningful or opportune time to say to Him, “I trust in Your goodness, and I will for the rest of time.” This relationship of mine with Jesus has been growing for quite some time, but I see this as a contract of sorts – as a hope that I might not drift away from His heart again. A friend of mine gave me the image of a wedding band – it is not the wedding band that makes the marriage, but it is certainly a symbol of it. It’s a personal choice that I feel is an essential part of my path and my relationship with Jesus. I’ve been a believer all my life, thanks in huge part to my wonderful family and their gifts of love and truth given to me. But each person is responsible for coming to know Jesus on an intimate, personal level regardless of denomination, age, lifestyle, circumstance, or time. I would never try to say what is right for someone else in their walk with Christ. This has nothing to do with what church I belong to, what friends I have, what my parents believe, or what the world thinks. Baptism is not a ticket to heaven or a prideful show to be put on. Baptism by immersion is a personal choice, and I feel that it is the right choice for me.
As I said earlier – I just want to love as Jesus loved. In my journey to His heart, that means trying to live as Jesus lived. Jesus ate with the sinners and befriended those deemed unworthy of attention or love. I want to let Him live through me and build relationships with anyone who needs His grace just as much as I do each and every day – that is, everyone. Jesus obeyed His Father to the point of death on a cross, and He bore the weight of the sins of the world simply because He was called to. I want to let Him live through me and obey my Father with radical abandon in every aspect of life. Jesus was baptized and found His mission and identity through the love of God. I want to let Him live through me and find those things too.
I don’t ask to be completely understood in this decision. I only ask to be supported by those I love so dearly.
This next step will be an important and exciting day to remember in my life, and I can’t wait to celebrate it.
Thanks for reading the words that have been on my heart these days.
It really means more than I can say.
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”