One of the things that I love most about Solidarity is how much importance they place on living life together. They make it a point to celebrate the achievements of their community members. Two days after I moved to Fullerton, they threw a graduation party for me. A few weeks later, we all went to a high school graduation to support and celebrate with some of the students who have grown up in the Solidarity programs. Three weeks ago, we held a baptism for some of the students who had decided to follow Jesus at camp.
This is not your typical in-church baptism. Just like every other event Solidarity does, this baptism was a big party. We go to someone’s pool. The “baptismal” is a hot tub. We have a bunch of food, and just spend time with each other. In my mind, it is the way baptisms are supposed to be: everyone in a community celebrating and supporting the people who choose to follow Jesus. It is a small piece of heaven being lived out on earth.
One of the teens who decided to get baptized has had a crazy life of gangs, drugs, and violence. He told us about his life at the before-mentioned camp that we all went to. An amazing story. He volunteered to be baptized first.
As we were all gathered around the “baptismal”, he asked a simple question,
“Can I do a cannonball into the hot tub?”
After no one answered his inquiry, he came to a decision on his own and said,
“Ah, f*** it.”
He jumped with his legs tucked in to his body, and splashed everyone who was standing in the splash zone.
No one could have even thought about getting mad at him. He threw us all a curveball. We were left speechless. After a few seconds passed, we all laughed. A few of us jokingly pointed out that he is about to get baptized, so God will forgive him for cussing. In actuality, no one really cared.
There was something beautiful about this teenager having such a kid-like impulse to cannonball into the “baptismal”. Even more, that he used an expletive to justify his doing so.
I think we could all learn something from this teenager: the Kingdom of God is something to be enjoyed. Not everything about following Jesus needs to be serious and reverent. We can show our love for God by enjoying what He has given us.
This is the type of church I want to be a part of. One in which its members give glory to God by cannonballing into baptismals, having food-eating contests, ice-blocking down hills, skating around the city, expressing themselves through art and music, and running half marathons together.
This is how we make the Kingdom come “on Earth as it is in Heaven”.