Yes, baptism and laughter really do go together. A friend of mine, we’ll call him Joe, is pastor of a large church. Once a year the church holds a baptism service at a nearby river. Some people prefer being baptized in a river because Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River.
Joe did not share this story, but friends of mine who are members of the church did. Any minister with even a modest amount of experience has a baptism ‘story’ or two (or many more!). What happened to Joe is not surprising, and it’s typical of the unexpected things children sometimes say and/or do.
This year’s river baptism service followed Vacation Bible School. Joe had several 10-12 year olds to baptize. One boy took his position in front of Pastor Joe. Joe asked him the usual questions about his new faith. Pastor Joe concluded by asking, “So you know Jesus as you Savior?”
The kid shot right back, “Yeah, and I know Nolan Ryan, too!” And that boy was not the end of laughter and baptism.
Another boy took his place in front of Pastor Joe. The baptism almost went without a hitch. True to form, Joe raised his right hand and baptized the boy in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He immersed the boy and raised him up. Joe’s right hand went back up as he was saying, “Raised to walk a new life with Christ.” Before Joe could finish the boy jumped up, slapped Joe’s raised hand with an enthusiastic high-five, and started walking to the river bank.
Laughter really is the best medicine!