Sometimes young people just…amaze and humble me. Now that I’m old, I can say that with absolutely no irony at all. Since joining the FCC youth ministry, I have seen a lot of what seemed like apathy from the kids I teach. I’ve seen a lot of sleepy eyes and thousand-yard stares from across the table on Sunday mornings. Consequently, I’ve allowed myself to somewhat…expect it from them.
Then, something like this morning happens, and knocks me off whatever high horse or soapbox I happen to be standing on at the time.
Jen and I were sitting down front at church this morning, and two rows in front of us were a half dozen or so of our FCC college-age kids, all in a row. It seemed like a lot of them to be all together, all at once, but it was also cool they were sitting together as a group, so I just made note of it and then proceeded to listen to Jeff as he began his sermon.
After communion and offering, Kari announced a young man would be baptized, and I saw a tall, happy-looking kid of about 19 come down the stairs and into the baptistry. Typically at our church, the person being baptized just sort of stands there, and waits for the person doing the baptism to say their part and then do the dunking. Not this kid.
He said his name (Tim), and that his friend (whose name escapes me) was going to baptize him. He had a grin on his face that probably had half the people in the sanctuary smiling. I know it did me.
He made his declaration of faith, and then his friend baptized him in the name of the father, son, and holy spirit. When Tim came out of the water he practically leapt with joy, and literally raised a fist to Heaven and said “YAY!!” I wish I would have thought to take a picture.
Never have I seen a baptism where the person being baptized showed that kind of joy. It made me remember that the things of the world I often allow to consume me–no matter how great or terrible they might seem at the time–are nothing compared to the joy that can be found in Christ.
I made it a point of going up to Tim after service to talk to him and the very first thing he did was give me a big hug. He was still smiling so huge I thought his jaw would crack. There were several people waiting to talk to him, and they all got hugs and that same smile.
What a great, amazing young man of God.
I hope some of the high school kids were in there to see the baptism. It was a beautiful thing.