It is probably my favorite service of the year. We couldn’t ask for a better location than the far beach at Pennekamp Park. And I am so grateful that they have allowed us to hold this service here for 10+ years. It was a beautiful start to the day. The water was like glass as the sunrise service began. The sunrise spectacular. I can always tell when the sun makes its appearance. And for some reason, it usually happens when I am speaking. For a few minutes, I lose everyone. So I stop and turn around to admire it as well.
But the real highlight of the service for me is always baptism. I can’t think of a better day to celebrate the new life we find in Jesus than resurrection Sunday. And the symbol of baptism – the burial of the sinful self and the resurrection as a new creation – preaches better than any sermon. This year was particularly memorable. We had one candidate this year – here’s a picture one of our member’s took of the moment just before she was baptized. I love her story and the fact she was accompanied by two friends from her small group Bible study. What a great picture of the way we are to love and support one another in the church!
And here’s the real kicker. After the service was over, a family came up to me and asked if I would be baptizing anyone else. After a few minutes of talking with them, and a few others that came over, back into the water we went. All told, six more people were baptized Easter morning! It was remarkable and exciting and humbling and miraculous and unforgettable. After all, isn’t that what Easter is supposed to be like?