Friday, April 1, 2011

Because he first loved us

Last month I blogged about our second son Benjamin's baptism, which I'm happy to report took place the Sunday before last. Both boys behaved beautifully -- due to some serious praying I'm sure -- and the ceremony went off without a hitch. Well, there was a minor snafu when our pastor forgot to put water in the baptismal cup beforehand (I can hear my Baptist friends snickering). Thankfully he remembered at the last minute and signaled our pastor emeritus who slipped out and returned with water in a plastic cup. We'll have a funny story to tell Ben some day. Here's a picture of the happy family.

Some of you might be interested to read part of the liturgy our church uses for infant baptism. There's a different one for adult baptism (i.e. baptism on profession of faith) -- which has happened, though not as often as we'd like.

Here are the questions that were addressed to my wife and I, followed by our answers, and then the words addressed to Benjamin before he was baptized. I found these latter especially moving.

Do you renounce sin and the power of evil in your life and the world?
I renounce them.

Who is your Lord and Savior?
Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior.

Do you, by the grace of God, promise to be Christ's disciple, to follow in Christ's way, to show love, to practice justice, to resist evil, and to witness to the living Christ?
I promise, with the help of God.

Do you promise to devote yourself to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in prayer, to celebrate Christ's presence and to further Christ's mission in the world?
I promise, with the help of God.

For you, Benjamin David
Jesus Christ has come, he has fought, he has suffered.
For you he entered the shadow of Gethsemane and the horror of Calvary.
For you he uttered the cry, "It is finished!"
For you he rose from the dead
and ascended into heaven
and there he intercedes —
for you, little child, even though you do not know it.
But in this way the word of the Gospel becomes true.
"We love him, because he first loved us."

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