It’s April… which means we get to celebrate baptisms at the end of the month! We’ll be sharing stories, starting with Scott’s below, throughout the month of individuals who are getting baptized. Be encouraged as you see God’s mission at work, and consider getting baptized yourself during Mission Weekend (April 29 & 30). It’s not too late to sign up!
Hey Grace Community Church! My name is Scott Hand, I’m a senior at Virginia Tech studying Computer Engineering, I’m 22 years old, I’m engaged to the love of my life Savannah Kelley, and I’m a follower of Jesus. I’ve believed in God my whole life and honestly I never had some kind of big moment where everything changed all at once. I was raised in a Christian home by my loving family, and attended Grace Community Church for most of my life.
As a kid I accepted Jesus in 3rd grade when they passed around these cards at kidZone and told us about Jesus, and that if we accepted Him as our Savior our sins were forgiven and we would spend eternity with Him. It sounded like a sweet deal, so I checked the box on the card to take God up on His offer.
In 7th grade I realized my parents weren’t going to make me go to church, so I stopped. It wasn’t anything against God, we’d still talk, but honestly I just wanted to sleep in. Toward the end of 8th grade my friend Ben told me he was in one of the Bible studies at Grace and that it was fun and I should come, so I went. I eventually started making friends, and for the first time I started personally feeling a sense of community in the church. It made me want to get involved in just about everything I could to spend more time in the community I’d found.
I spent a ton of time in this community in high school. It was during this time that I started to understand that choosing to follow Christ isn’t just like going and getting some eternal life insurance, where you get it and then reevaluate your needs every so often. Choosing to follow Christ is an every day decision to set aside the plans that revolve around your glory and try to trade them for plans that revolve around the glory of our Creator and Savior. I also learned this is a lot easier said than done.
In the past few years its become obvious to me that I’ve been blessed. Things have always seemed to go well for me: I’ve known God my whole life, I have an amazing family who cares about me and has provided for my wants, needs, and education, I have a fiancé I adore and a job lined up for after graduation. But why me? Why should everything seem to work out for me while my friend from Uganda worked so hard to get through school, but will probably never get to be a doctor like he dreamed because he can’t afford university. To be honest I’m not sure why me. What I do know is that it requires a response.
In Luke 12:48 Jesus says that “everyone to whom much was given, much will be required.” I have not been given much for the sake of my own comfort or luxury, I have been given much for the purpose of reflecting His glory to the world. I’m not sure of the specifics of how that will look. All I know is that it looks like obedience, and baptism seemed like a good first step.
So here I am.
Baptism at Grace
During all worship gatherings on Baptism Weekends, we celebrate the very reason we exist as a church: Christ’s mission to make disciples, baptizing and teaching in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28: 19-20). We share testimonies of how Jesus changes lives now and for eternity. And the best part… we baptize with a joy that’s out of this world!