I have always enjoyed the Parable of the Lost Coin from the book of Luke:
“Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” [Luke 15: 8-10]
I have always enjoyed the images of Angels celebrating every time someone enters the kingdom of heaven. Every time I hear a story of salvation or a baptism testimony, I get a mental picture of angels in heaven celebrating. The verse doesn’t say so, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Father, Son and Holy Spirit right there along with them celebrating right along with them. This Saturday night, that idea of celebration takes on a whole new meaning for me. This Saturday, at around 7:00 PM or so, my seven year old daughter will be baptized, and I can’t wait to celebrate along with the angels. Now, mind you, they’ve already had their big celebration, as did I on a Sunday afternoon in April. Here’s what I wrote about that day (April 18, 2010) previously:
On the way to church yesterday my 8 year old son (nine today – Happy Birthday Jacob), my seven year old daughter (Lyndsey) and I were talking about the gospel and being saved. My son (who is saved and has been baptized) asked how you know for sure that you’ve been saved (this was after a lesson last week on Thomas and how doubts are normal in the Christian life). So, we talked about the prayer of salvation and then we talked about how being saved is much more than just that prayer. We talked about the outward and inward signs of being saved like changes in attitudes, regretting when you do bad things not just because of the thing itself but because it is something God wouldn’t want you to do, etc., and we talked about how God changes us from the inside out. When we got in the truck to come home from church Lyndsey was kind of quiet then she told me, “I don’t think I’ve ever said that prayer.” I asked her if she wanted to, and she said she did but not until we got home and her brother wasn’t in the truck. 🙂
Anyhow, when we got home we talked about how salvation was more than just a prayer, or words that you say, or an easy way to get to heaven, but rather a choice to make Jesus Lord of your life. She said that she understood and she still wanted to say the prayer so we did! Needless to say, it was an awesome moment – another glimpse for me into how God must feel when one of his kids comes home. I stand amazed as the awesomeness and goodness of God. When my kids were born, I never thought anything would top those moments. I was wrong! Yesterday, and the same event with Jacob have exceeded those moments.
Now, Lyndsey can’t wait to be baptized. That will be another moment to add to my list. Sometimes, in children’s ministry, it is easy to get caught up in other people’s kids. And, so much of what we do is the meticulous investment that yield future (but not immediate results). Yesterday, God graced me with a moment that reminded me what is truly important and put everything back into perspective for me in a moment, and I find myself repeating a refrain that permeates my life and my prayers, “Thanks you God!”
She couldn’t be at the baptism last time our church did them in June, but she (and I) are excited about this coming Saturday. When I finally submitted to God’s will and got baptized myself, it was a moment I will never forget. But to see my son, and now my daughter, follow me in that act of obedience has truly been a gift of God.