There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
I’m not entirely sure where this year has gone, but it’s nearly the middle of August! In just a few short weeks we will be celebrating my daughter’s baptism, and in the planning leading up to that Sunday, I’ve been thinking a lot about what that Sunday means to me.
My husband and I purposely chose to have someone else aside from me perform the baptism. Faith is often tricky, and having a pastor mom can make it trickier. We didn’t want to have her faith tied up in me any more than it has to be.
So it just happens my former pastor will be baptizing her.
The pastor who confirmed me 15 years ago.
Don’t you love it when things come full circle like that?
Even better – this was the pastor who confirmed me in my faith when I had no faith.
Yea it was a pretty awkward last year of confirmation for me. But this pastor affirmed my doubts and my questions, and by taking that leap of faith in confirming me and affirming my baptism, he left a Gospel-guidepost for me to follow when faith to me in my adulthood.
I am forever grateful to him for that, because honestly I had gotten really tired of hearing my mom tell me, “You were baptized, you’re already a child of God, so too bad!”
I think part of her saying this was to comfort herself. She was worried about me. Her theology told her to be concerned for my eternal soul. But this pastor didn’t worry. Because it was true – I had already been baptized. I was already promised the Holy Spirit.
And we believe that it’s the Holy Spirit that brings faith.
Through hearing the Gospel the Spirit gives us faith. This gift is one that I hadn’t wanted or asked for, but thank God I received it.
So baptism is really important to me, for many reasons. In our Small Seeds Sunday we describe what baptism is before we give thanks for it, and we describe it as “a special part of church called a ‘sacrament’, Christians are baptized with water and with some words, sometimes as babies, as children, or as adults. But the water is not just water, it’s God’s promise in the water. It’s God’s promise to love you, to forigce you when you mess up, to make you new and clean, for you to be part of the church, and promises you life.”
And that has been a wonderful way to describe baptism during our kids worship. But I forgot a pretty big piece of baptism – as we baptize with water and words, those elements promise us the Holy Spirit.
And for me, even though it drove me nuts whenever my mom said it, she was right on one hand. I had been baptized, I had been promised the Holy Spirit. And She never stopped reaching out to me, working through Gospel-guideposts, working through people, and now in just a few short weeks we get to share in making these same promises to my daughter.