Remember Your Baptism and Keep It Holy!

Remember Your Baptism And Keep It Holy!

“After all the people had been baptized Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son, with you I am well pleased.”

There is a poem entitled “Wait” by Galway Kinnel, which reads:

Wait, for now.

“Distrust everything. If you have to.

But trust the hours. Haven’t they

carried you everywhere, up to now?”

One of the hours that I trust was the hour of my baptism on a sunny day in May. I was so excited. My parents had been raised in the Baptist tradition and did not believe in infant baptism, so I had to wait until I came of age (ha! at 12). As the water was dripped on my head I was overwhelmed with joy and my life seemed so full. That was followed in  August with my experience of my  call  to ministry at a campfire.  I remember those two hours in my worst times, and they carry me through.

I remember as a student pastor my first baptism. Two young guys, brothers. There parents too was of a Baptist background, and wanted them immersed. On a hot summer day we gathered at a creek and as I baptized them, I felt God’s Spirit so close, and was so thrilled to be a pastor. That was an hour of trust I remember in my low times.

Another hour I remember is the night when I was on the street and so far away from ministry, that I had nothing but disgust for it. A young friend of mine was seeing a “john” in a motel, and the date went wrong and he was stabbed. He called me and as we waited for an ambulance, his blood dripping over me, Shane requested to be baptized. He was 19, and he looked in my eyes, and said, “I know you are a minister, and my friend, please, please baptize me.”  Dripping water out of a glass the words of baptism were pronounced, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,” and added, “May God receive you into his Kingdom,” and a few minutes later Shane entered into the Kingdom.  This is an hour in which I trust, and hold on to, and remember in tough times.

Baptism says to us, “You are my beloved son or daughter,” you can trust me in your hour of pain, need, and doubt.”

Through the years I have baptized many–in churches, hospitals, hospices, and on the streets, and each time it reminds me that it is an hour that I can trust because it calls me back to the Beloved.

God never let’s us go, we move away from God, but Jesus will always seek us out, “trust the hours.”

“Remember your baptism and keep it holy.”


Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Fr. River Damien Sims, D.Min.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164


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