Sunday, December 14, 2008

Whiter than snow: Congratulations Ron Larsen!

King David once asked God to cleanse him and make him "whiter than snow" (c.f. Psalm 51:7) after the prophet Nathan confronted him with his own sin namely adultery with Bathsheba, and subsequent cover-up by murder.

Followers of Jesus ask of God the same thing when we make personal confessions of faith. We believe that Jesus Christ (the reason for Christmas) came and shed his blood to atone for our sin so that we might be declared "whiter than snow" because of what He did on the cross.

Christians (particularly baptists and other evangelicals) around the world make public declarations of this faith in Jesus through adult, full immersion water baptism. Though not a requirement for salvation, baptism publically symbolizes our personal faith in Jesus Christ. Symbolically, as we enter the water, we identify with Christ's death; we identify with His resurrection when we arise, and most importantly we identify with what Christ's shed blood means to us - the water symbolizes the cleansing of our sin through His blood.

Ron Larsen, a friend and member of the Bridge Church recently decided to do this. As is custom in our church, baptism is done at the beach next to the Vancouver Museum. But what you cannot tell from this picture is that Vancouver had recently had a bout of winter weather. Not only was there snow, but it was about -3C outside! Nevertheless, our pastor (Jerry Conner), Jim, and Ron braved the ice cold waters to declare that indeed Jesus does make us whiter than snow.

Congratulations Ron, and welcome to the family!

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