Sunday, August 23, 2020

Never mind corona: We're getting baptized!

“Do you believe in Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and savior?” She used a handheld megaphone so the group assembled on the beach could hear. The young man standing in the waist-deep waves next to the two church leaders was first of eight. He cupped his hands around his mouth and answered loudly enough for everyone to hear. 

“Ja!” he cried.

"Upon your confession, we baptize you in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit."


And with that he was dunked in the cold, salty Baltic Sea off the southern coast of the Danish island of Bornholm. The crowd assembled on the sandy beach cheered as the rest of the new believers in that lineup waited their turn. 

They didn’t mind the cool waters. As the church’s social media post explains, “it’s the year’s most wonderful day yet at Rønne Vineyard.”


Of course! Group baptisms like this don’t happen every day in Denmark. Christian believers are still in a small minority. And not all churches are faithful. As one Danish Christian recently wrote on Facebook, “here in Denmark, there are pastors who don’t believe, for example, that Jesus died on the cross and rose again on the third day. Instead, they’re holding yoga classes.”


But not on this day in July, and not on this beach. Here, eight more faithful believers confessed their faith in the risen Lord. Eight new Christians testified to the power of the gospel. And they are not alone.


PRAY for boldness in the faithful church of Jesus Christ in Denmark, that many more would come forward to testify of their faith and be baptized. Pray that God would move their hearts to obey the command to be baptized.  


PRAY for churches across the country, both from the Lutheran tradition and from others, that they would faithfully proclaim the gospel, and that more might come to know Jesus as their Lord and savior.


PRAY for more, many more baptism services of all kinds in Denmark, on beaches, in lakes, and in church buildings. Pray that this would be a summer filled with baptisms, even unanticipated ones.

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