Friday, May 20, 2011

Growing in Faith

This weekend Little Man was baptized. It was a really sweet ceremony during the Sunday morning service. I remember when Big Girl was baptized and thought about that day as we prepared for his ceremony.

The words that came to mind reflecting on her big day were the most common and widely known ones:

I baptize you "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit"

It wasn't until I was standing before the congregation, looking across the baptismal font at my husband and son, with our family and friends watching that I realized that these were some of the less important words. Now don't get off track here. I'm not saying that any part of the sacrament is unimportant.

Well. Think about this:
"Pour your Holy Spirit upon this child: the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord, the spirit of joy in your presence."

and

"look with kindness upon the father and mother of this child... Make them teachers and examples of righteousness for their child. Strengthen them in their own Baptism so they may share eternally with their child the salvation you have given them, through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Standing in front of everyone, my mind wandered back to confirmation class: 

Luther said, "... when the Word accompanies the water, Baptism is valid, even though faith be lacking. For my faith does not constitute Baptism, but receives it." (Had to look for awhile to get those exact words.)

Baptism is valid, even though faith be lacking. As parents, we have now formally taken on a new responsibility. It was one I knew when we decided to have a second child. It was one I knew long before my first child was born.

It isn't enough just to be a parent. It isn't enough just to be a good parent. You have to be a great parent. And a Christian parent. You have to teach your children about God and help them grow in their faith.

Standing before the congregation with my husband, I thought about our wedding day. It was in the same building. It brought us together. In a very formal way and in the eyes of God it brought us together. This weekend we strengthened that bond by taking another step in our lives together with Christ.

Throughout the weekend and the early part of this week I found myself thinking a lot. A lot. About my father. He nourished me as I grew in my faith. Talking to me each week as a teenager driving back and forth to church for confirmation classes and youth group meetings. He wasn't with us as we celebrated this baptism, but I know he was there.

I pray for God's guidance as my husband and I work together to raise our children. That he may work though us and in us - they way that he worked through my own Dad as he spent countless hours with me at church activities, preparing for confirmation quizzes and working with the youth group.

Writers Note: I don't usually talk about religious topics on this blog. Its not because I am not religious, or that my faith isn't important to me. It is more because my relationship with God is private.

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