The Season of New Experiences
Recently I heard a story of a 7-year-old boy who was baptized outside in a lake. With tears streaming down her face, his mother watched as he came out of the water, then excitedly asked if he felt any different.
“Yeah, Mom, I do,” he replied. “Now I have water up my nose!” *
I always think of the fall as a time that’s about new experiences – and starting over. This past Sunday we baptized Harper, a young baby, in our church and invited her to begin a new life, recognizing and celebrating how much God loves her. As special as it was for Harper and her family, the message of that day is really for everyone. God’s amazing invitation to be part of his word is meant for all of us. God’s amazing love and the invitation to start over as God’s children is for everyone.
Why do we need this chance to start over? There’s a simple answer to that. Because we are all human! We all mess up sometimes. We say things we later wish we could take back. We do things we wish we could undo. We miss opportunities. This happens in all spheres of our lives. Sometimes we make mistakes at work, sometimes we hurt the people we love, sometimes we disappoint God.
And because we all mess up, we like to start over—to turn our backs on the past, to look forward, to hope that this time round, things are going to be better.
There’s something exciting about starting over—new challenges, new experiences, new opportunities. So, I am going to ask, “Where does this message find you today?”
Perhaps things are still going well. Perhaps you’ve made a few mistakes. Perhaps you are at a low point or facing a hurdle you must overcome. Perhaps you’re overjoyed and filled with blessings. The good news is: wherever you are today, you don’t have to stay there, because today is a new day. God is offering you a new beginning; a chance to start over knowing in your heart that you are loved by a God who will never leave you alone and who will walk beside you each step of your journey.
*(Leslie A. Williamson, Gardnerville, NV., Today’s Christian Woman, “Heart to Heart.” From a sermon by Larry Wilson, Biblica Baptism, 9/29/2012)