Posted by: Jim Rosemergy | June 17, 2010

Holy Land Trip

We are back from the Holy Lands.  It was an incredible journey.  There is so much to share with you, I hardly know where to begin.  We rode camels, sailed on the Sea of Galilee, were baptized in the River Jordan, prayed, meditated, and sang.  We talked about the events that took place on the land where we stood and how the happenings can impact our lives today.

A great highlight was the baptism at the River Jordan.  Before we began, I shared with my friends that we were going to blend the water baptism of John that represents cleansing with the baptism of the Holy Spirit which was Jesus’ approach to baptism.  I explained that Jesus used the words, “Receive the Holy Spirit,” when baptizing, but then asked, what is the Holy Spirit.

I gave an analogy.  If God is the air, what is the wind?  The wind is the movement of the air as the Holy Spirit is the movement or activity of God in our lives.  When Jesus said, “Receive the Holy Spirit,” He was asking that we be open and receptive to the activity of Spirit in our lives.  What could be better?

As we began our service, I stood in the water of the River Jordan.  The group of 23 fellow travelers stood on dry land in a semicircle.  In turn each stood before their companions and prayerfully bowed to them as we said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

Then each person in turn came and stood in the water with me.  I asked, “Are you willing to be cleansed of anything that stands between you and a closer walk with God?”  Each person answered yes or I am willing.  I then anointed their heads and hands with water and motioned to their hearts.  Then I said, “Your mind, heart and hands are cleansed.  Hear now the message of the dove, ‘You are God’s beloved in whom He is well pleased.’”

Then I declared, “You have been given a new name. Do you know our name?”  Some said they did, others said no.  To those that said no, I replied, “Watch for it in the coming hours and days, for it will be given to you.”  We then hugged and another person came until it was my turn to be baptized as well.

The words above are a feeble attempt to describe the experience at the River Jordan.  There were tears and great joy and peace.  And much speculation about our new names.  I wish you had been there with us.  Perhaps you were.

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Responses

  1. Thank you for sharing this experience through your blog. You’ve given me a sense of how powerful the experience was — and I wish I could have been there with you!

  2. There were at least 24 there on the bank of the
    River Jordan. As I read your blog, I felt myself
    standing on the River’s edge with the others.
    Then I felt the water as I moved out to where
    you stood. I knew then that I wanted a closer
    walk with God. Thanks for bringing me with you..

    In LOVE
    Barbara


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