We had a joyous Easter celebration last weekend. We gathered down at the beach at sunrise and heard about God's great work in raising Jesus from the dead. We celebrated the promise of new life, forgiveness and love through drama, song and message.
Our service concluded down at the edge of the beach as I waded into the lagoon to baptize eight people. Being a Lutheran I have never baptized anyone by full immersion. We aren't against it, we just don't seem to build anything but a small bowl into our sanctuaries. It was a wonderful experience to baptize in the lagoon, it felt like being immersed in the biblical story since Jesus was baptized in a natural body of water. Also the biblical imagery of baptism seems to come more alive as someone is fully immersed, the old self is drowned, while the new self emerges cleansed, freed and Spirit led. It all fit so well with the way Eugene Peterson translates Romans 6 in The Message.