One of the most sacred elements of any church is baptism, with Jesus Himself being baptized. (Matthew 3:13-17)
On All Saint’s Day, 2015, the members of Abel House got together with friends and family to have a barbecue and to celebrate the baptism of the Farella family.
Mike Farella is a professional photographer. A few years ago when Northland held a weekend baptism celebration, I recommended Mike, for a couple of reasons. I knew he was a great photographer. Also, I was being a bit selfish about it. My daughters were there to get baptized and I wanted great photos of the occasion.
However, when Mike took the photos for Northland’s baptism, he wasn’t a Christian. I remember asking him about the experience shortly after it, and his response was noteworthy:
“There were people that were visibly different coming out of the water. You could tell there was a supernatural change.”
A few months ago Mike and I were talking — he had a been through a couple of significant life moments — and it was apparent God was working in his life in ways that Mike was just beginning to see. It didn’t take long for Mike to begin asking me about baptism. God had grabbed his heart, seized it, and began to work in him. New life was in order.
When Mike was discussing his baptism with his family, it was his daughter, Allison, that said matter-of-factly:
“We should do this a family.”
Mike and Julia where dubious. After asking Allison all kinds of questions, it was clear. Mike, Julia and Allison would be baptized as a family.
Gabe and I entered the waters to baptize Mike.
In turn, Mike — being newly baptized, full of the Holy Spirit, being called into the Priesthood of All Believers (1 Peter 2:9) — and I, baptize Julia.
It is at this point, that the distributed church is best realized. Full of God’s authority and power, Mike, has every right, calling and permission, to baptize his daughter.
While holding Allison, Mike and Julia ask her if she loves Jesus and wants to tell the world about the Good News of what He has done. An emphatic “Yes!” was the response.
And with that, we thanked Jesus for what He has done. We gave glory to God in Heaven for the works He does in the Farella family and in our lives.
Who took these pictures? Well, it was my two daughters, Reina and Jaden, who Mike photographed years ago for their baptism.
Sometimes it seems like God knows what He is doing.