THE DAY I SAID “I DO”
Today is a special day! Aside from being in Israel and loving every second of it, today is my baptism day at the Jordan River. I was “baptized” as a baby. Then again about 7 years ago during a Women’s Conference in my church, because I thought it was a requirement. In both instances, I did not understand what it meant. Today was different…
Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?” But Jesus answering said to him, “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he permitted Him. After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”
Jesus Himself was baptized at the Jordan River. As my friends and I walked along the shores of the Sea of Galilee near our hotel the night before my baptism, we stopped by a spot where we had a beautiful Fountain Show in celebration of Israel’s Independence Day. The cold wind, coupled with the Hebrew love songs playing in the background by the Sea of Galilee put me in a romantic mood. I felt as if it was the Lord singing these love songs to me. I felt as if He was “proposing” to me, for I will be baptized as His bride the next day!
And so there I was standing in the Jordan, with the cold water around my waist, wearing my white baptismal gown. As I walked down, the pastor looked at me and asked me three questions:
- Do you believe and accept Jesus Christ as the Son of God and as your Lord and Savior who died for your sins and was raised again from the dead?
I said “I Do”.
- Do you commit your life to follow Jesus Christ as His disciple, read and study His Word and share the good news of salvation to other people?
I said “I Do”.
- Are you willing to live and die for Jesus and for the sake of the Gospel?
I said “I Do”.
With tears running down my cheeks, the pastor immersed me in the water while saying these words: “On the profession of your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and in obedience to his command, I now baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
As my whole body was submerged in the water, I felt refreshed physically, emotionally and spiritually. After this public declaration of my faith in Christ I knew I will never be the same. Not only because I was baptized in Israel, but this time I meant every word and declaration but also this time I mean every word I said and by God’s grace I will live and die for him as my Husband who will never leave me nor forsake me as His bride…now and forever!
To put this whole story in a more personal way, 2005 when I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ in my heart as my personal Lord and Savior (that’s when we “met”). He’d been pursuing me since then, professing His undying and unwavering love and devotion to me (as His church). Last night He proposed to me to be His bride, and today during my baptism I said “I Do.”
The bible tells us in Revelation 10:6-9: and swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, that there would be no more delay, but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.
Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me again, saying, “Go, take the scroll that is open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.” So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll. And he said to me, “Take and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.”
When He comes back again, it will be a love feast with our Messiah. God uses the concept of a wedding day to describe that very special day when we will spend forever with Him. That day will outweigh any other wedding day.
Today is my declaration of love and devotion to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in this life and the life to come. As I writing this, I am still single but my soul is married to Jesus. Today was the first day of my eternal marriage.
Clarisse Calayag is a social entrepreneur in Southeast Asia. This article was first published on her travel blog clarissecalayag.blogspot.com where she writes reflections about her experiences in every place she has visited to point people to Jesus Christ.