I had an amazing experience on Sunday afternoon. A wonderful young woman who had recently come to Christ wanted to be baptized. She wanted to do the baptism at her home, to be celebrated with family and friends. When I arrived at the appointed time, I discover that, in the small alley way next to her apartment, she had created a makeshift outdoor chapel. A semi-circle of chairs surrounded a table with a basin of water for the baptism.
Family members, friends and neighbors gathered to celebrate with her. We held a simple worship service outdoors in this alley as neighbors walked by on the sidewalk just a few feet away. As I introduced the baptism, I shared the heart of the gospel and the meaning of baptism with those gather and all within hearing. As she was baptized, this sweet woman shed tears of joy, understanding that this sacred moment represented her new life in Christ. Honestly, it was beautiful.
I left that experience a little emotional, thanking God for the privilege of sharing in such a beautiful moment. As I drove through the streets of Haverhill on my way home, I couldn’t help but think how wonderful it would be if every person could have the experience that she had. Then in a moment of unbelievable juxtaposition, I passed a sign that advertised a “Pagan Pride Day” event. I almost had to stop and do a double take. I couldn’t help but think that there are still so many who are disconnected from Jesus. I believe with all my heart that Jesus really is the way, the truth and the life. So I celebrate the wonderful ways that God has been at work in our church, but I also recognize that there are so many more to be reached. Everyone needs Jesus.
I want to remind you of a couple of important opportunities. This weekend is our Alive! Women’s Retreat. If you register today at this link you can still get in. Saturday night is “The Overflow”, an event that is bringing together various churches in Amesbury for a night of outdoor worship. It takes place in the Millyard beginning at 6:00 pm. And don’t forget the Rock Run Raiser coming up on October 13th.
Finally, I want to let you know that we are testing a new church wide texting service that will allow us more flexibility and functionality. If we have your cell phone number in our data base, you should receive a test message from us this Saturday. If you don’t receive the text, please put your current cell number on your connection card on Sunday so we can include you. You will always have the opportunity to opt out, but I hope you won’t, as this is the most effective way we have of getting information out on short notice. This is particularly important as we approach winter in case of weather related cancellations.
I look forward to continuing our series “Follow the Leader” this weekend. We have a great message for you. You won’t want to miss it!