Baptism is a gift from God. There is nothing we can do to earn, deserve, or purchase baptism. It is first of all a sign that God, in Christ, has done all that is necessary to redeem us.
Sunday we celebrated one of my favourite Sacraments. Baptism.
The first official step as a Christian. The first step in joining a new wider family.
It is always a great joy to watch the young child and proud parents approach the baptismal font and with some trepidation take the first steps on the road to life as a Christian. The gift of the Word given to the new Christian in the Bible and the cleansing of sin by “washing” with the blessed water. The process is such a direct connection with our history, the tradition passed down through thousands of years. The world is very different than it was in Jesus’s time an yet this simple ceremony remains the same. It is quite comforting to note that happy simplicity remains. No bells, no whistles just the simple cleansing and welcome by God.
Almost as important for me however is the oath taken by the parents and the Congregation. The parents promising to raise the child in faith. The child named only by Christian names as the Covenant with God is made one to one as the promise is kept between God and the child. My favorite part is always when the Congregation stands as one to welcome the new in faith and promise to support, guide and protect along the path to faith and understanding of God. The beginning of a new family relationship so wide and powerful. A chance to reaffirm the importance of our own Baptism.
Sadly in today’s age we have forgotten the importance of the bond and to oft terms like God parent are used a means to illicit gifts not spiritual guidance. It is therefore a great joy to see the earnest oath we choose to make before God to the child as they come forward down the path of faith.
A gift from God. One we may joyfully share and work hard to protect and pass on.