Today we baptized Isabel. She is all of 26 days old and already has gone to church twice. This time she got really wet (and not the diaper kind of wet) in front of a whole church full of people. She was very brave too and only cried a little when the somewhat cold water hit her little head.
Baptizing Isabel is one of the cool side benefits of being ordained, a pastor, in the Christian Reformed Church. Since M and J, Isabel’s parents attend a CRC, and their pastor was away on holiday, it was like I was doing their church a favour by coming to lead their service today, but really, I was the one winning on this deal.
Every baptism is special, but spilling water from the baptismal font on a grandchild, saying those words “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”; putting my hand on her little head and pronouncing a blessing on her; it just doesn’t get much better.
In it all is the deep symbolism of God’s love for us, covenant love. Isabel came to church today, loved and accepted, was marked, wearing the same gown my mother put on me almost fifty five years ago. The same gown my grandmother put on her sons. The same gown our children wore as J and I made much the same promises M and J made today. Baptism ties us together, in God’s faithfulness. We felt that faithfulness again today.
It was a day of celebration. The morning rain cleared and great grandparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends enjoyed a day with Isabel (rather than a campfire) as the center of attention.