Day 22: What Baptism Is Not

Read Ephesians 5:25-27

After the wedding ceremony, the bride and groom drove away in separate cars never to see each other again, except on occasional holidays. Even though Steve and Kelly were married, they led completely separate lives. “I don’t like it,” Steve said of their relationship. Steve had different ideas about marriage than Kelly: “I hoped we were going to spend our lives together. Is this a loving relationship?” Kelly doesn’t understand why Steve is frustrated. “I do love him,” she insists. “I just have other goals in life. I married him, didn’t I? That should say something.” Steve and Kelly are two of a growing number of people who seem to be walking away from their wedding and into a life with little or no time spent cultivating their relationship.

The story of Steve and Kelly is a parable. Their story portrays how too many “Christians” treat Jesus Christ. Getting baptized is a lot like getting married. Both events begin a lifelong relationship. But many people rarely seek Jesus much after they’ve been baptized, except on occasional holidays. Like Steve with Kelly, Jesus desires to spend life together with you. Jesus wants to cultivate a loving relationship.

The fact is, a relationship is either growing or dying. A wedding is the birth of a marriage, and if a couple spends time together, they will grow together. Likewise, baptism is not an isolated event, but the beginning of a lifelong process. God gave Scripture reading, prayer, weekly worship, the Lord’s Supper, and spending time with other Christians to cultivate this loving relationship with Him. If we as baptized people neglect these aspects of the Christian life, let’s hope God will use other Christians to lovingly nudge us back into faith family activities.