A good friend who will soon be retiring is baptizing a little girl in worship this morning. This brings back memories of those special days when I dipped my hand into sacred waters to baptize and welcome new members into Christ’s church in the name of God the Father and Son and Holy Spirit. Through the years, I am glad I kept a list of those baptized on my watch as pastor of the church. What wonderful blessings emerge from every baptism and these precious children of God as they grow.
Listening to a worship service from the First Presbyterian Church in Davenport, Iowa, the church where our daughter was baptized 35+ years ago, I noticed the entire congregation participates in the celebration in sharing these words in unison: “We baptize you in the name of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit.” What a wonderful way to include the entire congregation in collaborating as a partner with ordained clergy in baptism. As children of God those who are baptized are members of Christ’s church. We are collaborative partners with God in promising to care for those who are baptized. We are also called to remember the promises God has made for each of us who were baptized in the same way. Always, we belong to God.
Now retired, it’s a blessing to look back to see what these baptized servants of our Lord are now doing in their faith journey. While I have lost track of a good number of those I have baptized, I am delighted to see some of these children now a quarter century later serving the church as ordained elders and deacons. Thanks be to God for giving me the opportunity to walk with so many saints and souls as a pastor.