Baptism is one of the most memorable events in my life. I was baptized at age seven, and it was something I’ll never forget. In our Southern Baptist church it was traditional for a person to wear white from head to toe – I even wore a white turban on my head. When I stepped into the baptismal pool, (which wasn’t designed for children, but for adults) the water was almost up to my neck.
There was no need to tip me backwards. I was so small that the pastor could have pushed a small wave towards me. However, I was dipped backwards and came back up again. I felt clean and tingly – there were all these emotions stirring within. I knew that I had done something spectacular, and I knew that the angels in heaven were having a party. I knew that something profound had occurred that I didn’t truly understand.
Baptism is one of the most profound aspects of Christianity. It’s an enigma. It’s an esoteric mystery of renewal and cleansing. There are two things that occur when you are baptized. You go under. And then you rise again.
You are submerged and what’s left in the water are the fragments of who you used to be and what rises from the water is a brand new person. Baptism symbolizes dying to self.