December 14, 2010

The Baptism I Wish I Had Given

On Sunday we had two baptism's at church. Both teen boys. I baptized the first and the second was baptized by his grandfather, a retired pastor and member of our church. It was a good day.  After all it is always great to see people, especially teens make this decision.

When I opened up the baptism time I said something like this; "It is great to have baptisms at this time, in Advent as the western world is becoming fully focused on Christmas, and feeling if only in a small way that this is to be a time of peace on earth and good will towards all people. Today we celebrate two people accepting Jesus who makes those two things possible." I than talked a little about the person I was baptizing, gave the somewhat tongue tied words of proclamation, baptized Ben, and then team two took over.

I have a funny habit of after important events, and conversations for that matter, to keep running the event through my head replaying it, and refining it. It's not that I hadn't thought about what I would say before I stepped into the water, I just kept thinking afterwards.

In that light what follows is the baptism I wish I had given;

'Welcome everyone to this celebration of baptism. It is fitting that we have these today in the middle of the Advent season a time when the world is becoming more focused on Christmas. A time when even if it is only in a diluted sense, people are hoping for peace on earth and good will for all humanity.

Today is a great celebration because we get to witness two people declair that they have accepted Christ, the person who will bring peace on earth and is the good will of God towards all. Also know that as we celebrate here all the heavens celebrate with us, for Jesus has told us that there is much celebrating in heaven when one decides to follow him.

As Ben and Ben enter into baptism we trust that they realize that this is not the end of the journey, but the beginning of a new chapter of the journey they are already on. Since they were old enough to begin to understand who God is, and what Jesus has done for them the Holy Spirit has been guiding them here to a time of public confession and proclamation. And when they leave these waters we know that the Holy Spirit will continue the process of molding and shaping these two young men so they become more like Jesus Christ.

The same process that each one of us are undergoing now.

As you watch them take this step in to deeper commitment to Christ, take some time to reflect on the steps you have taken, and what the next step for you might look like. What deeper level of commitment is the Holy Spirit calling you to today?

(Invite Ben out, say some nice things about him.)

Ben do you accept Jesus Christ as saviour knowing that it is only through him that we can be called righteous, holy and good?

And Ben do your promise the Holy Spirit being your helper to follow after Jesus becoming more like him all the time?

(Assumning he said some form of yes to the above questions)
On profession of your faith I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit."

Yeah...that's the baptism I wish I had given, maybe next time.