Read Matthew 3:13-17. Being identified with God’s mission is dangerous. Jesus was baptised by John to validate and advance God’s work in the world. Some Christians are baptised as a sign of taking on God’s purpose for them. Salvation Army soldiers are not baptised with water. But they are baptised in the Holy Spirit, and they wear uniform to signify that they belong to Jesus and that they are taking on the mission and message of Jesus.
That means, like Jesus, we can be exposed to frightening danger. Like Jesus, we may be tempted to settle for a comfortable, powerful life (see Matthew 4). Satan may try to pull us away from the life of service and sacrifice that God calls us to lead through the Soldier’s Covenant we have signed.
We are called to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to bring God’s justice for the poor, the infirm, the immigrant, the stranger, the unloved, and the lost. Our ministry may take us to the most dangerous parts of our towns and cities. Our uniforms might propel us into back alleys and hostile territory. We are called to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. The rest of the world may react negatively.
Being baptised in the Spirit and wearing uniform is dangerous, but when we live out the vocation God has given us, it is also world-changing. It marks us out in the eyes of God as children who will join him in renewing his good creation. Whether the tasks God gives us are easy and safe or dangerous and frightening, uniformed Salvationists, like all Christians in the world, are called to follow Jesus out of the water and into the world. Are you ready to go with him?
THINK IT OVER
Think about the following:
- What’s the most dangerous situation you have found yourself in as a Christian?