In our recent church newsletter, our Pastor shared a story he had heard at a Synod Assembly last spring. The keynote speaker told about the ancient Gauls who were an exceedingly wild and violent people. Christian missionaries were sent to them to preach and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. In time, converts began to respond to their message. Many of the Gauls allowed the missionaries to baptize them in the local rivers. The missionaries noticed something peculiar, though, when the Gauls were immersed for baptism. The men being baptized would raise one of their hands into the air while the rest of their bodies were submerged under water. The missionaries could never understand why they did this until some time later when the Gauls came into conflict with a neighboring tribe. The Gauls took up their spears, clubs and swords in (guess which hand?) the hand that hadn't been submersed in baptism. And with those "unbaptized" hands they brutally fought their enemies.
Pastor then asked the obvious question: What part of your life hasn't been baptized by Christ? What part of your life are you holding up and away from your commitment to Christ? The hand that rises above the water may hold many things. Perhaps it is our checkbook...or a fist clenching a pain, prejudice or a hatred that we just won't let go.
I felt this was a good point for reflection and examination. And as the keynote speaker shared this, and then our Pastor John shared it, I wanted to share it, too.