Thursday, December 9, 2010

...Where Bright Angel Feet Have Trod.

Allow me to take a break in all things Christmas to share with you the great news of my nephew’s baptism. This would be a post better suited for Easter I suppose, but I didn’t want to wait that long to bring forth such glad tidings.

I, like most of my family, am a Baptist. As such, we believe that baptism, while not required for salvation, is a very important component in our relationship with Jesus. It is an outward sign of our decision to accept Christ into our lives, symbolic of his death and resurrection. Jesus considered this ritual so important that he, himself, was baptized and later told his disciples to "go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit." (Matthew 28: 18-20).

My great-nephew Weston was baptized the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Like those in families that are the first to graduate college, he was the first in my (immediate) family to be baptized in a baptistery. Since our little white church is not equipped with one, the service was held at another church in our association. It was a beautiful ceremony and I was fortunate in being able to play the piano for the occasion. It turned out to be my first time in getting to play a grand piano, truly a wonderful experience - though it led to my committing one of the seven deadly sins right there in church...envy.

My father, a minister, baptized Weston. I think it was probably his first baptistery experience too. He did for his great-grandson as he has done for many others throughout the years, including me one hot summer Sunday and Ren on a frigid day in January. He took from his pocket a clean, white handkerchief and, placing it over the mouth and nose of his new brother in Christ, baptized him in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. My dad is 79. I hope he will still be in good health when the time comes for my little boy. It would be nice to know that Daddy was the one with each of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren as they took the plunge, so to speak.

As Baptists, baptism by immersion is not only one of the most recognized tenants of our faith it is also one of the most important. And I don’t suppose it matters whether you are in a nice, climate-controlled tub or in a shallow creek off some beaten path. What counts is what is true and truly felt.


Julie Harward said...

What a special occasion and I do hope he gets to do it in your family many more times. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints..or Mormon as the world calls us. I think you have much to offer me and I you, there is so much good in each of our churches. Thanks for sharing about your very special family time. :D

DSKgoatiegal said...

How wonderful that your nephew has been saved and that your grand-father was able to participate in baptizing him! I was baptized in a creek and it was the most wonderful feeling! It is a beautiful picture of being submerged a sinner and coming up saved and forgiven by God's wonderful grace!