At the border between Israel and Jordan in east Jerusalem, a lone Jordanian soldier dressed in camouflage and armed with a gun gazed nonchalantly at a spectacle unfolding before him on the other side of the river. Christians, busloads of them, were beginning to arrive.
This is the Jordan River, the place where Jesus of Nazareth was baptized by John the Baptist, and the place where the Israelites first crossed into the Promised Land.
And on Saturday evening, under the watchful eyes of young, armed Israeli soldiers dressed in army green fatigues and their counterparts in Jordan, scores of men, women and children of the Christian faith exulted, engaged in somber reflection and got baptized as they tried to connect with a piece of history in the mud-brown stretch of river where the human rendition of God got baptized and began His ministry.
Among the gathering were many members of the Empowered21 Spirit-Empowered movement who had come to Jerusalem to participate in a high-energy celebration of Pentecost on Sunday.
For these Christians, Pentecost is a celebration of the initial descent of the Holy Spirit upon 120 followers of Jesus, including the apostles as described in Acts Chapter 2.
“We believe that by celebrating and focusing together on this one day around the world that we could witness the Spirit-baptism of thousands and perhaps millions of people. And, more importantly, witness a fresh thrust of power for witness to accelerate world evangelization in the 21st century,” explains the website.
Before that celebration begins, however believers like Katrunia Fleming, who attends Oakcliff Bible Fellowship Church in Dallas, Texas, said she had finally lived a dream after she got baptized in the Jordan River on Saturday.
“[I feel] marvelous. I’m a disciple of Jesus. It’s been a lifelong dream to come here and be submerged in the Jordan River the same way Jesus was submerged when he began his ministry. So it’s a heart thing knowing that the Savior was in here too,” she said after stepping out of the water.
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SOURCE: The Christian Post