When I was in NY, I preached a sermon that had deep ties to the baptismal waters. So I had the baptismal font (think bird bath size) in front of me while I preached and filled it with water and talked about how the waters of baptism change us. THEN
In walks a man who left his cart at the door that held all of his belongings. He obviously slept on the ground the night before. He comes up to me, only the baptismal font separating us and asks (in a deep eastern european accent); "is this a luturn church?" I respond "yes." His eyes wide open now and he says "great. I want to be baptized."
I was unprepared for this but the Lord convicted me if I was gonna preach on life change thru baptism, I ought to be prepared for who the Lord sends to receive it!
SO I asked him what we ask all those preparing for baptism for 2000 years.
Do you renounce the devil and all the forces that defy God? (Yes)
Do you renounce the powers of this world that rebel against God? (Yes)
Do you renounce the ways of sin that draw you from God? (Yes)
Do you believe in God the Father? (Yes) IN Jesus Christ his only Son? (Yes) and in the Holy SPirit (Yes).
I then baptized him (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and as I baptized him, all the dirt from his head had washed into that small baptismal font and I carefully wiped off his head. The congregation then laid their hands on him and prayed over him and welcomed him as their new brother. IT WAS POWERFUL!
And on that day, Edwin's life was changed and healed. I have no idea where Edwin is or what happened to him. These waters, Jordan and baptismal, are waters of healing and transformation. We hear the call to "Go, Wash and be clean.' not so we can see dirt in the baptismal font but so that we can experience healing that God speaks into our life, deeper than the dirt of our sin and deeper than the scars on our hearts.