I have finally been baptised! It was a beautiful service – I hadn’t expected to feel so strongly moved but when we sang the final hymn (Amazing Grace, at my request since it is my favourite hymn) I almost cried and only managed to stop myself by concentrating on singing a harmony part. I couldn’t stop smiling for hours and it was such a wonderful feeling. Several people have asked me whether I feel different or better somehow, and at first I thought that the answer was no. After all, I committed to following Christ some time ago and baptism, whilst a wonderful and important symbol, is not itself what ensures our salvation.

But I realised as I was falling asleep that I do feel different. I have joined the body of Christ, I’ve been washed clean of all the mistakes and sins I’ve committed and it feels like a new beginning. So many of the decision I’d made about changing my behaviour feel crystallised now. I made a commitment at the New Year to stop doing something which I had done many times and had grown increasingly unhappy with, and although I have stuck to that commitment for four months it was last night when I felt that I could truly say “with your help, Lord, never again”.

I was baptised alongside a boy from the same choir, and we are both being confirmed this Sunday with a larger group. It will be a bigger service, with a lot of my friends and family present as well as everyone who is there to support the other candidates, and I’m a little nervous – last night I knew almost everyone present and much of the service was a usual choral evensong so I didn’t really have time to waste feeling anxious. This Sunday will be a new experience, but I know that I won’t be there on my own and that’s enough to give me strenght.

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