We’re having a Baptism service Sunday at actionchurch. I wrote some of my thoughts about baptism (here). What really matters though,is not what I think about baptism, but what scripture says. I thought I’d share one of my favorite stories about Baptism from the book of acts.
Acts 8:26-38 (NLT)
26 As for Philip, an angel of the Lord said to him, “Go south down the desert road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27So he started out, and he met the treasurer of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under the Kandake, the queen of Ethiopia. The eunuch had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and he was now returning. Seated in his carriage, he was reading aloud from the book of the prophet Isaiah. 29 The Holy Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and walk along beside the carriage.” 30 Philip ran over and heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah. Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 The man replied, “How can I, unless someone instructs me?” And he urged Philip to come up into the carriage and sit with him.
32 The passage of Scripture he had been reading was this:
“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter.
And as a lamb is silent before the shearers,
he did not open his mouth.
33 He was humiliated and received no justice.
Who can speak of his descendants?
For his life was taken from the earth.”
34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, was the prophet talking about himself or someone else?” 35 So beginning with this same Scripture, Philip told him the Good News about Jesus. 36 As they rode along, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Look! There’s some water! Why can’t I be baptized?” 38 He ordered the carriage to stop, and they went down into the water, and Philip baptized him.
That’s the essence of Baptism. It’s simple. Pure. Natural. Not at end…but a starting point. No matter who we are (the ethiopian in this story was a powerful government figure) the Good News of Jesus will lead us to the same question. “Why can’t I be Baptised?”