Back on Easter weekend, we celebrated new life in Christ by baptizing 181 people. On-the-spot baptisms pose a lot of logistical challenges, not to mention the fear that we might baptize someone who isn’t quite ready (for an explanation of how we try to foolproof the “readiness question,” check this post).
But one of the things that made this year’s Easter baptism so special was the add in of our limited-edition, you-can-only-get-one-if-you’re-baptized, no-Mr.-Senior-Pastor-I-just-said-you-can’t-have-one t shirts emblazoned with “Jesus In My Place” in four foot high letters (give or take a few feet).
One of our college students was baptized that day, and she sent us this note to explain how “Jesus In My Place” got far more press than we’d bargained for. Check out a portion of Katrina Wertz‘s story.
I wanted to tell you about something pretty cool that Jesus did with [the] Jesus in My Place baptism t-shirts.
On Wednesday, Kendall Marshall, PJ Hairston, Dexter Strickland, and all the rest of the UNC basketball team tweeted about a huge pickup game the team was going to play with students outside one of the dorms. I am a freshman here at UNC, so I went.
To determine what students get to play, everyone rushes the court and the first 5 people to make freethrows earn the right to check “playing against Roy’s Boys” off their UNC bucket list. For whatever reason, I decide to run onto the court too. Here is where Jesus decides to make heaven laugh. He’s like, “Yo, guys.. I’m about to get my Name out to a whole bunch of people. Watch Me now!”
So He grabs Kendall Marshall. Kendall was leaning against the fence, watching the mob of UNC kids duke it out to shoot. He notices me on the outskirts and says, “Hey! hey, let her shoot first.” Oh dangit… I haven’t shot a basketball since I airballed on Senior Night. But.. duty calls! So I shoot… and it hits the rim and bounces out. Hand the ball to the next person, but Kendall goes, “Naaah! I saw a lane violation. You shoot again.” And this time somehow I swish it. And I proceed to play 5 v. 5 with the UNC basketball team, surrounded by many students from UNC… all while wearing our Jesus in My Place t-shirt. I was just baptized on Easter!!!
So here I am, telling you all this improbable story because I want to do two things: highlight the crazy ingenuity of how Jesus chooses to work, and rejoice over what He did! PJ Hairston saw the shirt and called out, “I’m gonna guard Jesus in My Place over here!!” This short game was watched by tons of UNC kids, and has now been viewed more than 25,000 times on Youtube… because Yahoo News decided to put the video on their front-page for a bit.
And there’s a girl in there about 1:34 minutes in laughing inside at how Jesus gets His name out there, in big bold white letters: JESUS IN MY PLACE! Just wanted to thank you and Summit for the crystal-clear t-shirt. Our Lord produced the unexpected opportunity to wear it in front of thousands of people. All is subject to Jesus… Summit, Kendall, UNC, and Yahoo News, it is incredible. He is Lord of all, willing or unwilling!
Check out the video in question below (which incidentally, now has nearly 800,000 views)…