In this week’s edition of our weekly Wednesday newsletter, Scott reflects on a baptism he recently witnessed in Bangkok–and the questions it poses about our faith.
Dear friends in Christ,
Two Sundays ago, I was in Bangkok. As I do every Sunday, I went to church. The local Anglican church there is Christ Church
. They have an extraordinary mininstry there – making disciples, evangelizing, and caring for the needs of the community. Their ministry with refugees and asylum-seekers is a hallmark, I gather.
I will never forget this particular Sunday service because of a baptism I witnessed. Two people had fled their homes, their country, and their livelihoods because it was discovered that they wanted to become Christians. Today was their day to be baptized. When it was time for the baptism, we all traipsed outside to a courtyard where a pool had been set up. Each person was baptized by full immersion. When you see someone baptized this way, there is no escaping the symbolism. In baptism, we are buried with Christ and raised to new life. Our old selves die, and we become part of the new creation.
These people valued their faith more than their families. They valued discipleship more than occupation. They valued the new Jerusalem more than their old homeland. Jesus is all and all.
I have to be honest, it was pretty sobering. Is my faith that strong? What would I give up to keep following Jesus?
What would our world look like if, for every Christian, Jesus was first and last? What would it look like if we were willing to reject comfort and to embrace the Cross? Would we look the other way while people perish in needless violence? Would we be content to hoard possessions while others have so little? Would we remain silent when there’s a world in need of the Good News of Jesus Christ?
I admire those two people who were plunged into a life in Christ. I think it’s time to take a fresh dive into the Gospel, for me and perhaps for you.