Happy Palm Sunday everyone!
If you're a regular church-goer, you'll agree with me that one of the highlights of this particular service every year is when the children walk down the sanctuary aisles waving palm branches.
This morning, after the initial mewing (as my dad calls it - when you 'awww' over something with that high-pitch tone in your voice, like a mewing kitten), I had fun watching the kids get distracted during their time on stage. Some stayed as reverent as can be, while others looked around the room for their parents, some stood with wide-eyes and little movement, others pouted, and my favorite: the boys who played their branches like electric guitars.
The other highlight for me were the water baptisms.
Today, the first service went as expected. The music was exuberant, the kids were cute, people were dunked, and the mood was joyful, but it was at the second service when things erupted. I have never experienced anything like it before.
After all of the scheduled baptisms were finished, a gal in the front row shouted, "I want to be baptized!" So, in to the water she went with her pretty blouse and slacks on. Our senior pastor responded by sharing a sense of urgency with the congregation. He felt it heavy on his heart that there was no time to waste and people needed to be washed clean. The next thing you know, people of all ages lined up at the baptismal ready to take that step. There were ladies in skirts, old men in dress shirts, young men in jeans.. and not one of them giving care to anything but getting in the water.
The music kept playing, people got dunked, everyone cheered.
Strangers were high-fiveing each other, families were praying together, people shared prophecies and testimonies on the microphone, and everyone was out of their seats crowding the stage and hovering around the baptismal not wanting to miss a thing.
It was as exciting and spontaneous as a wild fire.
I believe the church staff even ran out of towels at one point and ended up grabbing blankets from the nursery. I lost count of how many people were spontaneously baptized today, but it was close to thirty.
And I'm pretty sure I ended up in about a dozen photos and videos with a silly grin on my face and tears down my cheeks.
Today is a day to remember. Thank you Lord for letting me live long enough to see revival on this earth.
"We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life." - Romans 6:4 (NIV)