Sunday Morning Greek Blog

October 16, 2021

Excursus: My Testimony at Mount View Presbyterian Church

Filed under: Greek — Scott Stocking @ 5:23 pm

Author’s note: Last week I had the distinct honor of returning to the church I grew up in, Mount View Presbyterian Church, to fill the pulpit for a Sunday morning. I had stopped attending there when I moved away to college and eventually on to seminary, but there were still a few people there who remembered me, including my mom and her sister, and her sister’s husband. As such, I felt it appropriate to bracket my message with a brief testimony of what Mount View meant to me and where my spiritual journey took me from there. I’m republishing that here.

I will forever be grateful for my upbringing in the faith in my childhood at Mount View Presbyterian Church: I don’t remember my sprinkling as an infant, of course, but I know my parents and this congregation did that to place the seal of God on my life for the now and the not yet. I still remember Sadie Charron’s Kindergarten class and even some of the songs I learned. I can’t remember everyone who taught me, but Joanne Mutum sticks out, as well as Karen Englesman helping me with memorization for confirmation class. And Karen, it worked: I’ve had Ephesians memorized for about 25 years now. Mt. View Presbyterian laid a strong foundation for my faith, without which I would not be where I am today in God’s kingdom and in life. Thank you for your faithfulness as a congregation and your influence in my life. In some ways, you might even say I returned to my Presbyterian roots, at least in part, about 7.5 years ago when I married Jill, a lifelong member of Dundee Presbyterian Church.

So how are we born of God? Some of us may have been born into a strong Christian family and you’ve never really known a time when you weren’t a believer. But even those people will have some memory or some point in time when they realized they’d made their faith their own, and not that of their parents. I’ve already mentioned how influential Mount View was in my youthful and adolescent faith. Let me tell you briefly how I made my faith my own.

Beginning in my Junior year of high school, I began to get more serious about my faith. I especially became impressed with Paul’s discussion of baptism in Romans and the connection he makes between baptism and the death and resurrection of Christ. That made sense to me, and it seemed sensible to me to have a sensory experience of the fullness of that spiritual reality for myself as an adult that I could not have remembered as an infant. I got immersed, not to break with any of my prior upbringing, but to make my faith in God and faithfulness to his word more complete for my own understanding. It wasn’t just the end of the old self that didn’t completely understand how my own sin impacted those around me, but the beginning of the new self, recreated in the true image of Christ that began to see people through God’s eyes. That’s how I know I’m born of God.

Scott Stocking

My opinions are my own

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