What a joy to welcome over 30 extra visitors (family and friends) to a 4-hour celebration of praise, testimonies, gospel message and oodles of fantastic food and fellowship, for the baptism of five precious friends who had chosen to publicly profess their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour!
It was the culmination of weeks of preparation by what is still known as our “Alpha Group” (long after the Alpha Course finished!) who continue to meet in our home for treasured evenings of sweet fellowship over a hearty meal (where everyone pitches in) and open and honest learning, sharing and prayer through the Word of God.
Honestly, of all the ministry that my husband Guy and I have done over our 24 years in Thurso, this continues to be one of the most rewarding. What a privilege and joy to participate in the Great Commission to go and make disciples, baptising them and teaching them to obey everything Jesus taught His very first disciples. And especially so when these disciples are so very keen to grow in their faith and to serve Jesus, the Body of Christ and their community in any way they can!
Having worked with children and teenagers over the years, this move to a more mature (add on 30 plus years!) group of seekers has been filled with just as much joy, fun and laughter, along with the very real challenge of negotiating the experiences and trials collected during a longer time in the world. Together we walk through this life, trying to look to Jesus, to be open to Holy Spirit and
glorify God our Father in simple, everyday ways – in praying for our friends, families and each other; in supporting and encouraging one another in our questions, fears and doubts through studying God’s Word; in sharing our home and our hearts; and in seizing opportunities to become servants.
It may be just a taste of Jesus time with His first disciples, but it’s a very sweet taste! Of course, we already knew the individual testimonies of these new children of God, having spent many evenings intimately huddled around our kitchen table that should have been far too small but never was. However, hearing each one in turn as we sipped coffee, now round our church tables with our visitors, a very clear, common thread became obvious.
Each one of the five, in turn, recounted a journey which was touched by Christian after Christian over many years before they came to saving faith – the elderly, dying woman telling the young nurse of her faith in Jesus instead of fear of death; the alcoholic friend finding Jesus and sharing the news; the invitation to come to church by a work colleague (even though it was refused); long-ago forays into Sunday School and Youth Group; the unexpected baptism of a teenage son …
We have had the privilege to be just one part of these journeys of faith, but each believer who played their own part, however small or fleeting over many years before, was just as important and necessary.
You may never know the part you’ve played in someone’s journey to Christ so seize every opportunity you can and then prayerfully leave it in the hands of our God who weaves it all together.
And who knows how many of the guests at this wonderful baptismal celebration will cite this strange and joyous day on their own journey of faith in the future?
Thurso Baptist Church