The Coosa River runs near our home and is one of the biggest attractions in our hometown in northeast Alabama. Bountiful and beautiful, the river provides a wide variety of recreational activities and brings diversity to our Appalachian foothills ecosystem. Riverfest–a two day outdoor concert, numerous fishing tournaments, boat races, fireworks, and unique competitions for various charities are just some of the events that take place here.
It is very ordinary to witness people by the river, on the river, and in the river on any given hot summer afternoon. But I must say that last Sunday I witnessed something on the Coosa that in all my years, (and that’s quite a few now) I have never seen. I’ve heard people speak of it, and suppose at one time it was somewhat common, but what happened this past Sunday along the banks of the Coosa was indeed unordinary.
Eight people asked to be baptized by immersion in the river, and a crowd gathered to witness this event. Reminds me of what was going on so many years ago at the Jordan River. The scriptures record in Matthew 3 that many people were coming to the Jordan to be baptized by a man named John, and there was quite a crew hanging out, curious to see what was going on! Shortly thereafter, we see that Jesus himself is there and, at His request, is also immersed in the river by John. What occurred last Sunday on the Coosa will be an unforgettable experience for all who were present!
Eight souls identifying with Christ. Eight hearts obeying the command to be baptized as a public confession that they have trusted in Jesus. Eight lives trusting in His death, His burial, and His resurrection as the only true way of salvation. Buried with Christ in baptism, raised to walk in newness of life.
Now, we all know that a picture can paint a thousand words. I noticed a particular portion of the crowd on Sunday: the children. As they sat on the pier with feet dangling and interests peaked, these children were seeing a real life picture– a picture that painted more than a thousand words. A picture better than any storybook that had ever been read to them, one with eternal significance. The other onlookers may not remember specific details, but I venture to say that for these children, this past Sunday afternoon will be one of their most vivid childhood memories — one that will echo into eternity.
“One generation shall commend your works to another,
and shall declare your mighty acts…”
Thank you to www.tiffanyrussell.com for the photos!