Special to Valley News
What people see in your life and what people hear from your life matters, especially now. More than ever, people need to see and hear your faith and hope in Jesus.
Recently I saw both of these examples on display, during the pandemic.
It all started when Marlene, a member of our church family, asked if she could get baptized and prayed over before heading to Indonesia. Because she had to quarantine before her flight, she only had a few days during the week for the baptism to take place. And because of COVID-19, she asked to do it with a small crowd to limit exposure.
At first, I had mixed emotions. On the one hand, I was extremely excited for Marlene. It was an exciting step for her. But on the other hand, I was sad that the whole church family couldn’t celebrate with her, so I asked her if she would mind if we recorded it and showed it to the world.
At first, she hesitated, as most people do when they think of being on camera. Still, I assured her that it would be encouraging to the church family if they could see her step of faith. She agreed, and I was amazed at her willingness to step out of her comfort zone.
After we settled on the plans, we now had to focus on the place. I knew it was an issue because our church baptismal doesn’t have a heater, and it was cold. That’s when, thanks to the prodding of my wife, I made the last-minute call to our friends and members of our church family Scott and Jolene.
Word on the street was they had a hot tub, and “hot” was the keyword. So I made the call.
And when I say last minute, I mean the night before. That’s right. I called Scott and Jolene the night before the baptism to ask if we could invade their home to baptize Marlene. Honestly, I felt a little awkward making the call. I wasn’t even sure if they really had a hot tub.
Thankfully they did and were more than willing to welcome our small crowd into their home. But they didn’t stop there. Scott and Jolene began to put their hospitality on full display. They laid out pastries and coffee and had towels available for us. Jolene took the morning off work just so she could host us. Are you kidding me?
They were so excited to participate in Marlene’s baptism. Jolene asked if it would be OK if she shared the pictures on her personal Facebook page. She wanted everyone to know what happened at her house that day. It was awesome.
Long story short, the small group of us blessed Marlene through prayer and the laying on of hands and baptized her in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. It was a powerful time.
Why am I telling you this story? In a quick read, these might just look like simple things. One might even say, “Hey, no big deal! A lady got baptized in someone’s hot tub.” And on the surface, you would be right.
But what happened that day was nothing less than supernatural.
What really happened that day was that the people of God came together so that the world could see and hear about another soul who is fully committed to following Jesus and wanted to be baptized just as we were told to do. That little group of people became witnesses of the Good News to all who saw it on Facebook or Instagram and to those who heard it through word-of-mouth.
It reminds me of the verse in Hebrews 10:24-25, “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”
I witnessed this verse in action that day. What are people hearing and seeing in your life?
Zachary Elliott is the lead pastor of Fusion Christian Church in Temecula. For more information, visit https://www.fusionchristianchurch.com, http://www.encouragementtoday.tv or find them on Instagram.