New life. That’s what we’ve been celebrating these past two Sundays through baptism. As Mark, Desiree, Allison, Jiayi, Amaya, Alberto, Marjorie, and Carl stepped into the water and were immersed in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, we rejoiced along with all of heaven in the joy of changed lives! I don’t know about you, but whenever I see baptisms and hear the story of changed lives, something passionate rises up in me—a deep resolve that “This is why we’re here!” Seeing new life reminds us of who we are.
New life reminds us of our stories. We once were lost, but now we’re found. We were blind, but now we see. In seeing new life, we are reminded of our own stories. Our own redemption. Our own rescue. We are all trophies of God’s abundant grace in Jesus Christ. Our stories are His story. We are far more sinful than we ever dared realize, yet in Jesus, we are far more loved than we ever dared hope.
New life reminds us of our purpose. Jesus calls us to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing and teaching them. And when we see new life in Christ, it means that mission is advancing. Celebrating the joy of changed lives isn’t just a slogan, it is the lifeblood of our mission. This is who we are. This is what gets us out of bed in the morning.
New life reminds us that there’s hope. When we see new life, we know there’s a future. Jesus is building his church not just now, but for the generations that will come after us. As dire as things might feel sometimes, new life means the future is bright. God is on the move. Jesus is drawing people to himself. The Spirit is actively at work. And there is so much to look forward to!
So let’s celebrate the joy of changed lives! Let’s remember who we are.
You are loved, more than you know!