On a cold Sunday morning in February 1971, I was baptized at a small mission church. Since our church was so tiny, I was the only one baptized that day. When the time came, I knelt at the front of the sanctuary; the pastor poured water on my head; pronounced the words of baptism; then took me by the right hand, pulled me to my feet, and welcomed me into newness of life.
That day, I thought that in the twinkling of an eye I was going to be transformed into a perfect follower of Jesus. That’s why I asked for baptism. The theological rhetoric of leaders in that particular congregation was that when you were baptized, the Holy Spirit would instantly transform you into the kind of person God wanted you to be. At least that’s the theological rhetoric that my twelve-year-old self remembers. This promise of moral transformation attracted me. That day of baptism was my first and foundational yes to God.
- 2 Corinthians 3:18 - 18