I had mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I was going to have the awesome privilege of baptizing my kids. On Sunday, October 28th, I helped my kids express their intention to faithfully follow Christ through water baptism. Our family was really blessed because both my parents and Deb’s parents and Mark & Barb came.
Needless to say, it was a pretty emotional moment.
All week, Chris had been telling me that he was nervous. I kept reassuring him, telling him that there was nothing to be nervous about. But as I stood there in the doorway to the baptismal, I suddenly got nervous. This wasn’t just a “dunking.” My kids were stepping into a reality that would forever shape their lives.
Earlier that morning, as I worshipped with the congregation, I felt the Lord remind me that my children are his. There would be moments in their lives when I would not be able to be there for them. I wouldn’t be able to instruct, teach, comfort, care or even hold them. There will be moments when I would be completely absent. As a dad, this breaks my heart. The thought of each of my children facing this broken world alone agonizes me.
But then I felt him whisper, “I will be there.”
And with those words comes a rush of relief. They need to trust him. They need to follow him. And even at their young ages, they are saying they will. And regardless of the pain and hurt they may experience in their lives, they are forever safe in his care.
And as they learn to trust and follow Jesus, I also need to trust Jesus with my children. I need to remember that he can care better for them than I can. And I need to follow Jesus alongside my children, not just showing them how to follow him, but being sojourners with them.
Below is a little “thing” I wrote for them, kind of like wedding vows. We talked about it beforehand so they knew what it meant:
“Today is a special day. It’s like a wedding ceremony. You are publicly declaring your love and loyalty to Jesus. And you’re showing your love and loyalty by re-enacting Jesus’ death and resurrection. It was at that moment that Jesus climaxed his Father’s plan to renew the world and people he created.
By re-enacting the climax of Jesus’ Story, you are saying that you are joining him on a journey of renewal that began with his death and resurrection, will change who you are from the inside-out, and will one day cover the earth with God’s glory.
You are saying that you want to become like Jesus, that you’re joining the worldwide family he created, and that you are joining his mission to renew his world.
So this morning, I’m going to ask you a few questions and if this is what you want, I want you to say, “I will.”
•Will you love Jesus with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength?
•Will you learn from Jesus how to become more and more like him?
•Will you join Jesus’ family, loving, praying and serving others who also love Jesus?
•Will you participate with Jesus as he works to renew God’s creation in love, peace and beauty?
Then in the name of the Father, Son and Spirit, I immerse you into Jesus’ life. Who Jesus is, you will become by grace for God’s glory and for the sake of the world.”