Ephesians 4: 1-6 - "I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all."
On April 5 of 2015, I proclaimed my love for and obedience to Jesus Christ. A few days later, a study that I’m currently undergoing asked, “Why do you think this was an important step for you to take?” This question got me thinking beyond its initial parameters. This is how I feel about it and others might disagree completely and that is mighty fine!
For me, baptism is not only the final step to the beginning of a long journey with Christ, but it also represents putting on a uniform. The most straightforward and simple definition of a uniform is “an identifying outfit or style of dress worn by the members of a given profession, organization, or rank.” When I see a police officer in uniform, I know what to expect from him. I know that he should uphold the law and protect me as a citizen (for the most part). When I see a doctor in a white coat, I know that, by the very least, he should be able to help me if I stop breathing or diagnose my common cold.
Baptism, to me, is a kind of graduation or a white coat ceremony, but instead of coat, I’m wearing the blood of Christ. It symbolizes the sacrifice that was made for my life. It shows the understanding that I don’t deserve of God’s love, yet he gives it freely; that I understand that my life is not my own. By putting on this uniform, I vow to obey his word, live to serve, and share his love to any and everyone that I meet.
As a community, it’s a symbol of togetherness. By wearing this uniform, we are held accountable for our actions and our thoughts as children of God. Not only does it help us to keep each other in check when the cookies start to crumble, but it tells others how to perceive us. It informs them of our priorities and responsibilities. Said uniform does not mean that we all lead the same life, have the same struggles, and love in the same way. Every walk is different, but we all receive the grace of God through believing in Jesus Christ and this is the uniform that establishes our unity.
Unlike cops, there is no being an undercover Christian. It doesn’t work and it’s not aligned with God’s intentions for us as his people. I do not believe that we can live to glorify Him in all that we do if we are hiding, embarrassed, scared, or ashamed. Christianity is not a costume that we can put on and take off as we please. It’s an identifier of our relationship with Christ and our marker as a body.