Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Water Stop

Whenever I go back to visit the Hebardville Methodist Church (and it has been a long time now), I always look first toward the front pew on the right where I sat.  Somehow or another my mother managed to buy the pew and donate it in memory of my father.  It was where I sat Sunday morning and Sunday night.  And then, I look toward the left end of the altar where I knelt down one Sunday morning when I was nine years old and was touched by the waters of baptism.  The preacher who baptized me would marry my mother a few years later and his influence would continue.

Now, at age nine, most children have no real clear understanding of what happened on the cross when Jesus died.  But, then, such is true of a lot adults as well.  And, to be honest, I still struggle at times to get my mind around what God has done for all of us through the death of His Son on Calvary's cross.  What I do remember was that baptism was for me a way of responding to God.  It was that simple.  Even then I sensed God's presence and out of that awareness I was baptized.  It was an act that sent me forth as a teenager who thought of himself as a Christian.

As I think about the holy places where God was at work in my life, the Hebardville Church certainly comes to mind.  Thinking back causes me to be aware of how long I have been about this journey of faith.  At the water stop there was little understanding of what faith meant, but maybe the simple and unsophisticated faith of a boy is enough.  As we go along, our faith often gets cluttered up with an intellectual search and rigid duty.  Neither is really necessary.

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