Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17
Yesterday I was privileged to witness, and take part in, the baptizing of two of my children—a public celebration of the new. It was a day they will not soon forget, and neither will I.
As part of the preparation for this day they were asked to write out their testimony. “Just tell your story”—that’s what they were instructed. Why follow Jesus? Why make it public? What does it mean for you?
Among the words my son wrote:
“I needed Jesus to save me because I am sinful…I want people to know that God is my master.”
My daughter had this to say:
“Jesus is my whole life and he has forgiven me of my sins from the past, present, and future.”
There were other words, but these stood out to me. These announced the newness of my children. They, even at their young ages, are not who they used to be. They are seeing new, thinking new, being new.
After yesterday’s celebration both of my new ones talked about the congratulations they received from all. They were not just our kids any longer, but members of the Body, fellow travelers on the journey. And others took note of this.
I watched my son, 12 years old, receive an embrace from a huge man in tears. A man who sought him out while he was still changing into dry clothes! He wanted to thank my son for his courage and for what his baptism meant to this guy. Being new sometimes means your life, your journey, reaches into the hearts of others.
I listened to my daughter reflect on the ride home as she tried to get her mind around the fact that somehow she now felt “kinda different.” Her faith in Jesus was no different than when she arrived for worship that morning. But the newness had been proclaimed. The choice had been announced and made public.
Their death, their old-ness had been identified and shrugged off. They were new, and now the whole assembly of believers knew it. And somehow, being new was more because it was shared.
…what counts is the new creation. Galatians 6:15
Photo by Stefan Gustafsson