Today, as I watched the pastor gently cradle the first of two infant sisters in his arms, reciting those sacred words, I traveled back in time some 40+ years and remembered as if it were yesterday, that precious moment when my first, and then my second child became children of God, marked with the cross of Christ forever.
I recalled the soft, satiny touch of my first daughter’s baptismal gown. The sweet little cap and the funny little shoes that although miniature in size, kept slipping from her tiny feet. My second daughter wore the same gown a couple of years later. I remember so vividly holding her tiny little body in my arms, wrapped in that white satin blanket, fussing with her hair and how she clutched my finger in her tiny little hand while the pastor spoke the same words we were listening to today.
Do you promise to help your child grow in the Christian faith and life?
The pastor smiled as he returned one daughter to the arms of her mother and took the second from the arms of the father, and once again, dipped his hand into the baptismal font and carefully poured the holy water onto the babe’s head. I watched as the mother wiped away a quick tear from her own face and smiled at her proud husband.
I recalled that neither one of my daughters cried during their baptism, and I was so relieved! I was so young and so new at this job of motherhood. Yet, I knew even then that they must have this beginning, and for that I am eternally grateful. I remember the faces of their proud grandparents and my father taking pictures with his old Brownie camera!
I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
The pastor dipped his fingers into the holy oil and traced the sign of the cross on each of the children’s foreheads. He smiled as he looked down on the first child, sleeping peacefully in his arms. “Now this is peace!” he said.
The sanctuary seemed to glow and the congregation so quiet, like dutiful children, as we watched and listened. As the pastor lit the candles in celebration, I imagined Jesus watching over all of us, and with arms outstretched, filling this place with His Holy Spirit. I looked around at the faces of my friends and many that I didn’t know, but at ease with the thought that they were all one — and all children of God.
Let your light so shine before others that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
I am thankful for my children’s’ baptisms. Although they may question their faith, I am glad that they began their lives in the arms of Jesus and that He will always be there for them.
We’re all doing the very best we can do! God’s Peace!