Jesus is the Open Door

Yesterday after a quick lunch I drove from Detroit to Livonia, Michigan to see one of my members, Vera Woodruff, who is in a hospice facility. As she slept, I held her hand and spoke with her daughter and a collection of family and friends who gathered around her bed. When we come to the end of a life, often the best we can do is simply be there, reflect, rejoice and share in love with the hope and conviction that Jesus Christ has promised us newness of life, not only in this life, but in the life to come!

At 3:30 I arrived at the Calvary Baptist Church in Detroit to meet an older man, Mr Euric Creighton, 

expressed an interest in August in being baptized with others in the Detroit River. He missed the August baptism because of illness so we contacted my friend in the ministry, Rev. Lawrence Foster and he graciously allowed my church to perform his baptism in their pool. To my pleasant surprise, my associate minister, Rev. Dr. Georgia Hill, arrived to inform me that four children, Kambri Davis,D’Andre Davis, Breana Peterson,LaShawn Foster, two sisters and their two brothers had expressed an interest in also being baptized.

Once everyone had arrived, I asked each of the candidates for baptism to sit in the first row of the church and I explained to them what baptism is all about. I talked to them about the love of Jesus and the significance of making a personal commitment to honor the Lord as our savior. I tried to prepare them for the sacrament of baptism and what would happen once we went into the water.

After gathering in the water, I asked each of them the same questions: “Do you believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior?” “Do you believe in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.” “Are you prepared to renounce all sin and give your life to Jesus Christ?”

Normally, when I have a group of persons who desire to be baptized, I begin with the youngest person and work backward to the oldest, but because we had a man in his eighties who slipped and fell before we began the ritual of baptism, we started with him and worked backwards to the youngest child.

Baptism is a wonderful moment in the life of a believer. Baptism is the symbolic start of a deeper walk with the Lord. The water symbolizes the washing away of the old self so the new person in Christ can be born again. The water was chilly. The baptismal pool in the church was beautiful and the space was full of peace. All five persons seemed to grasp the fullness of the moment. The children were serious but also joyful. I praise the Lord for the commitment of five persons yesterday to make Jesus Christ their Lord and Savior. Praise the Lord!

John 10: I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture[1]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What are your thoughts about the personal decision to make Christ your Lord and Savior?
  2. What do you remember about your decision to be baptized?

 

Prayer: Lord, I give my life to you. Lord, I am ready to put away the foolishness. Lord, I am ready to serve you. I want to love my neighbor as I love myself. I believe in you and I trust you has my Lord and Savior. Help me this day to be best Christian I can be. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Jn 10:9). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.