Scripture: Matthew 3:13-17
Key verses: (16-17) 16And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”
Reflection: I love baptizing babies. There is something holy about splashing water on the fuzzy head of a child of God, proclaiming that they belong to God forever. Baptism brings together parents promising to raise their child to know and love God, a faith community promising to partner with them as they do, and the grace of God poured out on us all.
This past Sunday I baptized a number of little ones who were active and very vocal about the process. I had met with families beforehand to assure them that whatever happened would be perfectly fine. And it was, as it always is. Older siblings, about whom parents had worried, watched wide-eyed. One almost-toddler pushed my hand away after I baptized her (who can blame her—it’s not like we asked permission), but she stayed happy. One sweet boy cried through the prayer, then somehow stopped crying just after the water was placed on his head. During the early service I asked people to stand as they sang Jesus Loves Me by mistake, and it all still worked out just fine. It always does. That’s the grace of God that comes to us in baptism. We don’t have to be perfect angels to receive it. We don’t have to behave just right, say our lines just right, or know all the words to the Apostle’s Creed by heart. God reaches out to us, and says, “You are mine and I love you.”
Thanks be to God!
Prayer: Lord, thank you for loving me and calling me your child. Thank you for all those in our church raising children to know and follow you. Help me partner with them to be your beloved community, bound together by your grace. In the name of Christ, I pray. Amen.
Author: Julie Hester
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].