Once a month, we welcome children into the family of God through the sacrament of Baptism. We have the privilege of coming alongside parents and promising to help some of the youngest in our congregation grow in faith and in love.
From my perspective, Baptisms are Holy Mystery—we can never be certain what will happen. For instance, in my last church an older sibling accidentally knocked over the pitcher of water. It was, indeed, the pitcher of water that was about to be used to fill the font and thus baptize his baby sister. As the water was cascading down the chancel steps and ushers were rushing forward with new water and a stack of towels, the baptism continued. In the same way we can’t control everything that happens in the service, there is no way to know how each child will live into his or her baptism. We simply don’t know what happens next.
Typically, on a Sunday morning, I leave the sanctuary with the children. We walk out with your voices asking for God’s blessing to be upon us. This Sunday, I am excited to stay in worship to share the word proclaimed with each of you, but it will be hard to watch the children walk out and not follow after. Hopefully, I’ll keep my mind focused. But know that part of me will be wondering if the fourth and fifth graders have memorized the Greatest Commandment yet… if second graders are creating something beautiful… if the three year olds enjoyed burying something as part of their lesson… if the third graders have collected enough money in their weekly offering to buy a goat for a family in need. I’ll be thinking about the teachers, who are learning just as much as their students, and about toddlers in the nursery exploring space on uncertain legs. It’s hard to watch them walk out and not follow; and yet, as a church, we do just that. We send one another out into the world, uncertain of what that world might bring, but sure that God goes with us and blesses each journey ahead until we gather as God’s family again.