After a couple of weeks where karate commitments have taken centre stage on a Sunday, it was back to my usual Sunday routine. I was out the house by 5.15am, it was absolutely freezing, the pavements were iced over and the air was well cold, but I was up and ready to walk.
I took my usual route, my long walk this morning, just over 13 miles, completed in 2 hours 50 minutes, I was on fire this morning, the cold air and freezing pavements weren’t going to slow me this morning.
As I approached the last leg of my walk a thought came over me. Today is baptism day at our three Churches, the last one back in July was an absolutely fantastic day in my life, as I’ve previously posted my Baptism was a calling from God, I was lifted from my chair to make a public declaration of my faith. But I had this feeling as I came close to home, a feeling that today something special was going to happen, so I prayed, I prayed that today lives would be changed, that God would do some fantastic things in our Churches, something that would out do my glorious moment back in July, now I just had to wait and see.
So today in our Church, nine people had made the decision to make that public declaration of their faith and be Baptised, they all took to the stage with their testimony, a diverse group, some reaffirming their faith, others new to faith following struggles within their lives, then there were the members of our youth group, choosing to make that decision to follow God. It was great to hear these people and their testimonies, it brought back memories of me standing on that stage four months ago, but I was relaxed today, I was staying firmly seated, there would be no spontaneous actions for me today.
Later Justin, who was leading the service today, made the same statement that Gareth had made back in July, the same words that saw my world freeze for a moment and then lift me from my seat, he put out a request for anyone who still wanted to be Baptised to come forward whilst we sing one last worship song. Well, I’ve started a trend, I set the ball rolling, last time two of us made that decision on the day, this time six stood up to be counted.
What made this more special is that these six are all members of our youth group, in today’s society when teenagers worship the plastic music and film idols they see on TV or in magazines, to see these youngsters make a public declaration of their faith and their decision to follow God is just overwhelming, some of these kids live hard lives, they have issues, but today that didn’t matter, they were lifted, they were called to stand proud by God’s glory, I was removed to tears today, tears of joy for these young stars, proud of all of them.
I have decided to follow Jesus
No turning back, No turning back
I will follow You, I will follow You
I will follow You my God
(I Have Decided by Starfield)
It seems is wasn’t only our Church, similar happenings were going on at the other campuses, today God was calling out those he thought were ready to make that declaration, just like he did to me four months ago.
I may be relatively new to religion, to God, to Jesus and to faith, but I just think that special moments like this make this life worth living, it what it’s all about, celebrating the glory of God and Jesus.
These kids just blew my greatest day out the water, quite simply, this day was amazing.