MWCC

Mt Wellington Community Church

Submerged

"Baptism" comes from a Greek word meaning "dipping, drenching, submerging". From a distance, baptism may seem weird or even superstitious. However, after a little probing you will discover that apart from its deep spiritual significance for those who believe, it also makes very good sense.

Baptism is fundamentally a ceremony of commitment. Right through history, human cultures have given "ceremonies of commitment" very expressive symbolism. The Wedding service - with the expensive, ornate, never-to-be-used- again white dress, the rings, the vows, the witnesses and the giving away - is full of symbols! These symbols communicate many important aspects of marriage much more powerfully than words. Similarly, baptism is full of symbolism, and powerfully communicates what it means to be a follower of Jesus.

Each person being baptised makes promises which correspond to the symbolism of the baptism.

In addition, there are some other significant aspects of the symbol, for example:

1. The fact that everyone who is baptised needs to go through the "embarrassing" experience of going right under the water, makes this occasion a great "leveller". Everybody is the same, and does the same. There are no exceptions; beneficiary or billionaire; Prime Minister or labourer; all are treated the same. This is because in God's family, worldly status has no significance at all.

2. The action of going under water is symbolic of being washed clean. People can only become followers of Jesus as the independence from God, pride, and selfishness in their lives is dealt with. The water in which people are submerged, symbolises this cleansing process.

Russell