So I know that when I’m at a baptism, I should be focusing on celebrating the public declaration that the new believers are making. Maybe this post makes be a “bad” Christian. But sometimes those culture shock minutiae are just too distracting and I have to sit and laugh at myself for how absurd it seems.
My church witnessed the baptisms of three children today. When I got to church and grabbed a bulletin, I remember that today they would be baptized during the service and thought little more of it than that, besides wondering if the service would be much longer because of it. I’ve witnessed a number of baptisms, from my own to the baptisms of friends, to classmates, to other people I barely know. Most of these baptisms took place in Taiwan, and have been in either a massive orange or metal tub that was filled up from a hose, or in a swimming pool, or in the ocean.
I knew that these baptisms today would not take place in the Albemarle Sound. However, in my mind, I think I envisioned there actually being a massive orange tub in the middle of the sanctuary. Well, maybe not orange. I guess I thought it might be a wood box with a tub inside or something. I’m not really sure.
But I was not expecting to walk into the sanctuary and see instead that the floor of the apse (?–at least that’s what that area would be called in a medieval church…I don’t know what it’s supposed to be call in the United States. That part where there’s a small stage, and the choir sits, and with the pulpit…) had a giant hole in it and underneath it there was a massive tub set into the floor filled with water. The carpeted floor had been taken away! What was even more earth-shattering was that the wooden wall in the back actually had a secret door in it! And the half-wall that the choir normally sat behind also had chunks taken out of it!
Clearly, this was a mind-blowing church service for me. My parents are probably going to read this and laugh at me, or they are going to be shocked about the gaps in my cultural education. Oh well. I just sat there laughing at myself for being so excited that the floor was taken out and how ridiculous it seemed to think that there might be a massive orange tub in the middle of the sanctuary.