Tuesday, July 25, 2006


I do have to confess that I like to make up words, especially while I'm preaching. This word, however isn't a word that I made up, it's real. Read on ...

One of the greatest delights of my job is baptizing people who have become Christ-followers. This past Sunday we baptized these 4 beautiful people in the San Marcos River. There is something special about baptizing in the river, something very New Testament, something refreshing and something very fun.

To make things more fun, count on my son. When Jacob was watching us walk down into the freezing cold river, he looked up at his Mommy and said, "Mommy, why is Daddy going to appetize those people?" I more than chuckled at his attempt to repeat words that make sense to everyone else, and I trusted that he didn't really think that I was going to consume any of my friends in the river. We've told him it's "Baptize", but he's still got his heart set on "Appetize". So, according to my almost 4 year old, we had an "appetism" celebration on Sunday.

As usual, the apparent randomness of my kid teaches me the grace of God. In many ways baptism is appetism. Before you dig into the main course, you whet your appetite with an appetizer. As you begin your journey as a Christ-follower, the first thing the New Testament asks of us is to be baptized like Jesus. It is the beginning, the diving in point, the whetting of the appetite that makes you hungry for more. My heart breaks for those who arrive at baptism and see it as an end. It's truly a beginning, a Genesis moment, the start of a journey with the Lord. It's an appetizer.

Another way my son's brilliance (I know that I'm biased, but he's freakishly smart even if he is too stubborn to poop in the potty) shone through is how appetizers affect others. Even when I'm not hungry for an appetizer, if someone at the table suggests it - I'm in. Or, if another table orders it and it catches my eye, I want it. It was truly delightful to gather with most of our church on the banks of one of the most popular swimming holes in our town, in the shadow of Joe's Crabshack, for a celebration of new life with Jesus. As I dunked each Christ-follower, the people screamed, clapped, whistled, and yelled in celebration as others who were just there to swim were drawn in by the experience. Maybe they saw that following Christ is exciting and fun, not boring and mundane. Maybe they saw that we rejoice with those who rejoice. Maybe they longed for something they don't have. Maybe appetism is something they will desire for themselves some time soon. That's my prayer anyway.

That's my blog this time around. Thank you, Lord, for my son who continues to teach me and make me laugh. May his life continue to be lived for Your glory!


Blogger Holly said...

We have the coolest son in the world, and I guess "appetism" is a great illustration of baptism. You have a way of putting things into words that really helps people, including me, grow in their faith. Thank you and I love you!

10:37 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home