Season 3 of the Mandalorian had some excellent moments.
From Paz Vizla fighting the Praetorian Guard alone to Christopher Lloyd appearing as a separatist to Grogu spotting some purrgil while in hyper space. And that was just one of a few kaiju moments in new SW material within just a few weeks. This has been a great ride to enjoy. We also had something I would not have expected to see in a modern day series: baptism.
In Chapter 17: The Apostate we find the Armorer inducting a boy into the right of Mandalore…right by water as it is an important part of the ceremony. She is asking him questions when the ceremony was interrupted by a giant crocodile creature, thus ending the ceremony. Then in Chapter 18: The Mines of Mandalore, Din Djarin goes to swim in the deep ocean under the planet to be redeemed back after taking his helmet off for Grogu. Finally in Chapter 24: The Return we get a full view of the induction ceremony. The boy whose ceremony was interrupted becomes the first of those returning to Mandalore to have his induction…which is a baptism. She asks him a couple questions, he puts his helmet on, and she pours water over his head before the rest of the assembly speak their support in unison. This sounds eerily familiar to many followers of Jesus.
In the Christian faith baptism is a public declaration of your decision to follow Jesus. It is not the decision itself nor is it the salvation point, but it is an outward declaration of your desire to pursue Jesus. In many traditions the follower and pastor go into the water, whether it is a tank built in the church, a natural water feature, or sometimes the follower is just in a bath tub. The follower shares some of their testimony and answers a couple questions from the pastor. Then he dips them into the water. There are some groups that just sprinkle water on the follower’s head instead of dunking them. Jesus himself chose to be baptized by his cousin, John the Baptist. We know from the Gospels that this was common for John.
And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.Mark 1:4
But this time was different.
As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.Matthew 3:16
We call baptism a sacrament. The word sacrament has different meanings to different denominations of the Christian faith. To Catholics this is any moment that imparts the grace of God to people. To others, mostly protestants, sacraments are limited to any ceremony or outward expression that Jesus Himself participated in or commanded us to do. Either way, all Christians recognize baptism as a sacrament.
There are many commands about baptism in the New Testament. Jesus included baptism as part of the “Great Commission” in Matthew 28:19-20. 1 Peter 3:21 tells us that the water from the flood was even pointing toward baptism. Colossians 2 :12 explains the meaning of being dunked as burial with Jesus and being raised out of the water as a picture of being resurrected with Jesus. Jesus even referenced baptism in his discussion with Nicodemus in John 3:5, the same conversation/passage where we find John 3:16.
Baptism is our moment to share our desire to follow Jesus, learn form Him and His church, and to serve Him and His church. It is a proclamation of whom you serve and what He has already done for you.
My moment of baptism seemed spontaneous but I think it was led by the Holy Spirit. This was the summer between 6th and 7th grades. I was at a youth meeting at a house with a pond. Our youth pastor was leaving for another position and he chose baptism as his last event with us. He baptized several kids and then opened it up for anyone else. I quickly volunteered. My Mom was mad at me afterward because she had missed it. She was glad I got baptized but was upset I didn’t just do it later when she could be there.
If you have been baptized, tell us about your experience. If you have not been baptized but have started following Jesus, then you should talk with a pastor about this important step.