Baptism Is Self-Renewal
In our church, baptism is a ceremonial act of self-renewal.
In conventional churches, when you get baptized, you say, “I accept So-and-So as my This and my That.” So for example, I accept Jesus as my lord and my savior. I accept God as my mother and my father. I accept the church for better, for worse, in sickness, in health, for richer or poorer.
So basically, LOCK THIS DOWN. Put a ring on it. You can’t escape— no matter what. This is the end of the line. It’s a final sale. No returns, no exchanges. It’s a commitment and a contract. That’s why you enter into a contract, so you never have to think about it again. You know, it makes things easy.
In our church, it’s not about accepting that I’m not that person anymore. I’m this new person from now on. Or… for better or worse— this is it. Final sale. Baptism is not some insurance policy where no matter what happens, you’re safe. That’s what a contract is for. To ensure that things don’t change.
In our church, baptism is acknowledging that life always changes and when it does, you renew.
Did you know that many of the cells in your body don’t repair themselves? When they get damaged, they just die— and then your body creates new cells. Most of the cells of your body are constantly renewing themselves.
In fact all of nature follows this principle. When the bark of a tree gets old, it doesn’t heal the broken bark. Instead, the tree will grow fresh new bark and let the old bark slough off.
Self-renewal is this natural process of constantly creating fresh and new life.
In a conventional church, when you get baptized you say, “I accept Jesus as lord and savior of my life.”
In our church, you say, “I may not be ready, but I’m willing… to love my life.”
In a conventional church, you say, “I accept.”
In our church, you say, “I’m willing.”
That’s the difference. In a conventional church, you say, “I accept. I’m done.” In our church, you say, “I’m willing. I’m just beginning.”
In a conventional church, the hard work is behind you. Whew!
In our church, your creative work is right here in front of you.
So when we baptize you today we are not offering you an insurance policy. We are offering you a creativity policy.
May you create your life anew whenever you feel tired, burnt out, stressed, or too drained to go on.
May you be filled with creative force and creative life.
May the fountain of youth fill you up and sustain your soul.
May your juices always flow.
May the force be with you and within you, always.
May you be baptized in the waters of life, where the more you give, the more you have, and the more you love yourself forever and ever, and the more you are loved, forever and ever.
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