“In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands.” Col. 2:11
Such is the mark in our flesh that reminds us always that something happened in our past that will never be erased. Nothing, absolute nothing we do will alter the fact that we have been circumcised, baptized rather in our cases, into the name of Christ Jesus, and we have been crucified and buried with him.
In most cases, inner transformation takes place before people are baptized. Even though the two events don’t necessarily occur simultaneously, they nevertheless happen, for both must be included for salvation to materialize, and the mark they leave will remain with us forever.
It may even be such a gradual thing that we hardly notice when it was transpiring, yet we can surely figure out something significant seemed to be going on when we look in retrospect at the time when our inner transformation was occurring. Isn’t this transformation a circumcision performed by the hands of God?
Epiphany may be various events that occur in people’s lives, and they are often subjected to human interpretation, and in most cases human subjectivity is involved in them.
What was happening seemed to be nothing out of the ordinary; it just took place so naturally. It was the second time I spoke to this lady, a visiting researcher from China, who would be heading home within a week, and she appeared to be ready to receive the Lord into her heart. I felt I needed to speak to her for the second time concerning the important matter.
“Are you sure this is something you would like to do?” I questioned. She was rather indecisive when I spoke to her last Sunday after church.
“I have thought about it, and I am absolutely sure this is what I intend to do. I have decided to get baptized before I leave,” she said to me, resolutely this time.
So we both got on our knees and I led her to say a prayer of profession. I have done this so many times and the magic of the moment is yet to lose its appeal. It’s always miraculous, feels so much like an epiphany.
Her voice started to tremble and crack as we drew near the end in our prayer. She gave me a hug, which was highly unusual for a Chinese woman to do. I suppose she was just so moved and couldn’t but do something that was so out of the ordinary to express her gratitude to the Lord.
I had very little to do with what was transpiring, for an American lady had been studying the Bible with her for quite a long time, and she should have been the one to reap the harvest. Why does it matter anyway? We should give the Lord all the credit, lest we forget this reality: “In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands.”