This past Sunday while other churches celebrated the 500th Anniversary of Protestant Reformation, we at Amberlea celebrated something equally significant, the sacrament of baptism for two extraordinary young people.
Did you know?
- Martin Luther (1483-1546) is recognized as being the most influential figure of the Reformation.
- Luther strongly disputed the claim of the Roman Catholic church of the time, that forgiveness of sins could be purchased with money.
- In 1517 Luther is believed to have nailed his ninety five theses on a church in Wittenburg, which is accredited as representing the symbolic beginnings of the Protestant Reformation.
- ‘Justification by faith alone’ or Sola Fide in Latin is at the core of the Protestant Reformation — that we are saved by faith alone in Jesus Christ because of God’s grace and by what Jesus did for us.
On Sunday we celebrated Reformation Sunday in its purest form as two young people stood before the congregation and shared how their love for Jesus, their hope in Jesus, and their faith in Jesus has brought each of them to this time in their faith journey. They expressed that because Jesus died for them their sins were forgiven (Sola Fida).
It was a powerful service! We borrowed a baptismal tank from a neighbouring church and two were baptized by full immersion. If you were there, I am sure you would agree that we were witnesses to the presence of God. It was incredibly moving and as I looked on to the crowd gathered, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house!
I was baptized as an adult, and I remember the pastor saying “You know Mona, there is nothing magical about this water,” and he was right. The water itself isn’t what changes you, but rather the extraordinary power and hope in the One who makes baptism possible, the One who baptizes in the Spirit and transforms the heart.
Whether you were baptized as an infant, a teen or an adult, baptism is a reminder that the Lord called you to Himself, and He chose you by name, not by any merit of your own but by His free gift of grace.
Throughout scripture we can see that God choses people who were ordinary, many we might even consider unworthy. None of us are worthy. We all fall short of the Glory of God and no one can be made new (justified and sanctified) apart from Jesus.
Join us this week as we continue to study the life of an ordinary man, Nehemiah, in our series entitled Change your World. We will look at all that he was able to do through his faith in God. It is my prayer that we will be challenged to ask and dream what God will do in and through us!