Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I praise you Jesus for giving life to Paul and Derek.

Pastor Adam of DCC, Giulian & Pastor Bruce
Our church body had the joy of witnessing our first baptisms last Thursday night at the beach! The last summer BBQ culminated with the baptism of six friends in the frigid Puget Sound. It was a special joy for Giulian and I as Pastor Bruce Wesley, his wife Susan, and their daughter Sarah Beth from our sending church Clear Creek Community were able to share the evening with us. What an encouraging evening, it has energized me for days to think about what Jesus is doing!

A very dear friend of ours that we're in community with shared his testimony of conversion five months ago and was baptized, evidencing Jesus' miraculous grace. The next day as I reflected on Derek's story and baptism, I couldn't get the story of the apostle Paul's last days of freedom out of my head.

Two stops on the way to Paul's arrest in Jerusalem stand out in Acts 20 and 21. After speaking with the elders of his beloved Ephesus church plant, Luke accounts that Paul "knelt down and prayed with them all. And there was much weeping on the part of all; they embraced Paul and kissed him, being sorrowful most of all because of the word he had spoken, that they would not see his face again." His next stop in Tyre drew a crowd of faithful disciples, "they all, with wives and children, accompanied us [Paul and Luke] until we were outside the city. And kneeling down on the beach, we prayed and said farewell to one another."

The beach on Thursday reminded me of a pebble-filled beach in the Mediterranean with sail boats painting the horizon, I don't know why, I've never even been there. But I could just envision the sorrow Paul's dear friends experienced as he told them they would never see him again. Years later Paul was martyred in Rome after "proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance." (Acts 28:31)

Men like the Apostle Paul died so that men like Derek could hear and believe the gospel, and for that I am grateful. But Jesus is greater still in that without His death, neither Paul nor Derek could truly live. I praise you Jesus for giving life to Paul and Derek.


See my photos from the evening here.
See more photos taken by Leah on our church's blog here.

1 comment:

  1. Written very beautifully and heartfelt! -mauvianne