Baptism joy at Moortown
What better way to start a new year than with a double baptism, writes John Sherbourne
Last Sunday morning’s service (4 January) was very special. Not only was it the first in a new year, it was also one of those wonderful occasions that we celebrated not just one but two baptisms.
First was Catherine Fraser, who gave a wonderful testimony which was rich in scripture, and which is reproduced in full at the foot of this page. Then it was Rebekah Drew’s turn.
For her family this must have been a truly wonderful moment as supported by Ruth Bromley, Rebekah made her way down the steps to be baptised by her grandad the Revd Andy Hobbs (pictured).
Later this week Rebekah together the rest of the Drew family (brothers Josh and Sam, sister Tabia and mum and dad Debbie and Chris) will be heading home to Nepal where they are currently working with the International Nepal Fellowship, a Christian mission serving Nepali people through health and development work.
We wish them God speed and to both Catherine and Rebekah we say thank you for letting us share in your very special day.
John Sherbourne is a member of Moortown Baptist Church in Leeds. This was first published on Moortown's website, and is used with permission.
Catherine Fraser’s testimony: For me being baptised at this stage of my life, having also been baptised when I was a baby is in some ways similar to a couple renewing their wedding vows after having managed to overcome some of life’s struggles. Equally it could also relate to people saying their wedding vows for the first time or being baptised for the first time.
I have included some Psalms to help me today.
Psalm 23: The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house or the Lord for ever.
The Lord here is a faithful guide and wants everyone to be at ease, becoming familiar with the landscape, while all fears are banished and driven away from humanity. The anointing oil is a physical and dutiful act welcoming others into the house.
I would like to be baptised at this time because I feel that in becoming a member of this church I am part of a new family and baptism will strengthen my sense of belonging with God welcoming me to dwell in his house.
Psalm 91: Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’ He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honour him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation’.
Again the Lord is a solid guide and a protector, saving from harm. I believe that I have been fortunate enough to experience the presence of our Lord Jesus when I have been in a secure hospital environment. I remember believing I had sleep apnoea and I saw a bright light, believing I was dying. It is now my duty and sole intention to live as healthily as possible to maintain the life I have been given. In doing so I endeavour to live to our Lord’s command.
Psalm 32: Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit. Therefore let all the faithful pray to you while you may be found; surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them. You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.
This discusses hiding in a safe place. I can say this is true of me and my relationship with the Lord. I feel it describes the ‘King of Kings, majesty’. I believe that there have been many times in the past and some times in the present that I have feared many things. So I have hidden under my bed in a secure environment. God is my cornerstone. I am happy to say that I have overcome many of life’s challenges in this way and I now focus on caring and supportive relationships.
I believe that the Lord sacrificed himself for all our sins; so that our sins may be forgive. This includes me. Thanks to God through Jesus Christ. Hallelujah! Amen.
I intend to put on the whole armour of God so that I may hold on. I pray that I may be bold in speaking the gospel as I should.