After a large Sunday dinner, family and friends gathered in the living room of my grandmother’s rambling house for the event that made me a Christian. Lifting a silver bowl filled with water, the preacher said some ritual words, made some promises and then baptized me.
There is much about my baptism that I would have done differently. Baptism properly belongs in a church, not a living room. Yet God manages to work wonders despite our ineptitude. And becoming a Christian is something done to us and for us before it is anything done by us. As an infant I was a passive recipient. Someone had to hold me, administer the water of baptism, tell the story of what Jesus had done and the promise of what he would do, and model the life of faith for me. It was all gift, all grace.