Thursday, March 10, 2011

Baptism

I'm linking this post to Mary's blog, Giving Up on Perfect, and writing about subjects that she's chosen for the next seven Thursdays:

March 10 – Baptism
March 17 – Wedding
March 24 – Funeral
March 31 – Worship
April 7 – Bible study
April 14 – Prayer
April 21 – Communion

I have always said that I was born and raised Presbyterian.

Baptism is one of only two sacraments recognized in my denomination, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Most of our baptisms are of infants. I don't remember my own baptism since I was an infant. Both of our children were baptized as infants too. Young children and adults can be baptized too of course.

Baptisms take place during our worship service. I've listed a brief part about our baptism below.

The parents are asked, "Relying on God's grace, do you promise to live the Christian faith, and to teach that faith to your child?"

We don't have godparents but sometimes have sponsors who are members of the church and promise "through prayer and example to support and encourage" the child "to be a faithful Christian."

And later the congregation is asked, "Do you, as members of the church of Jesus Christ, promise to guide and nurture" the child "by word and deed, with love and prayer, encouraging them to know and follow Christ and to be faithful members of his church?"

(All quotations above are from the Book of Common Worship...For the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A).)

I love that parents, sponsors, and the congregation participate in every baptism and are responsible for supporting, encouraging, teaching and learning alongside one another. My eyes fill with tears when our pastor carries a baby down the center aisle to introduce him/her to us.

Have I lived up to my promises during baptisms?

Not all the time.

Yet I am striving to do so now and know that I can do better with God's help.

Thank you Mary for choosing this topic for today.

Please visit Giving Up on Perfect to read what Mary and others have written about baptism.

Do you have a memory or some thoughts you'd like to share about baptism?

4 comments:

  1. This was a sweet post! I love that you acknowledged you don't always live up to perfect, but your strining to do so now. It's never to late!

    P.S: Thanks for your nice comment on my baptism post! :)

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  2. I was raised in a Presbyterian church, too, Cindy. Every time we had a baby dedication (and baptism), our pastor would carry the baby around the sanctuary while we sang, "Jesus Loves the Little Children." It was such a sweet picture of how we were one family supporting that child who Jesus loves.

    Thank you for linking up!

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  3. Thanks for sharing, Cindy! As someone who wasn't raised in a Presbyterian church it was neat for me to see a different side of baptism. I love the promises asked of the parents, sponsors, and congregation - a great reminder of our responsibility as role models.

    I found your post through the Remarkable Faith series at Giving up on Perfect. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. Cindy, I love this reminder of our own obligation to set an example for new believers! Our infant baptisms were very sweet as well - while the Pastor carried the baby down the aisle, the choir would sing this precious song...
    Baby, Baby, God claims you,
    God helps you, protects you and loves you too.
    We this day do all agree, a child of God you'll always be...
    Thanks for posting!!

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