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Children’s Sermon Baptism — 16 in a series glancing back

July 25, 2017

The baby’s head was wet.

We were surrounded by children, and they were pretty much all talking at once.

But the really amazing thing is what they were saying.

We had another infant baptism that service, and for the fifth or sixth time in about as many months we’d placed Baptism right before the Children’s Sermon in the Order of Worship. I had once again invited “all of our Children’s Sermon people to come on up front now, so you can see what we’re doing during Baptism.”

So there we were, our Associate Pastor and I, both of us with a hand on the head of the baby I was holding. Water from the baptismal font ran from our hands over the baby’s head.

After we’d said the infant’s name we continued in stereo with, “…we baptize you…”— and we looked at each other and stopped speaking. We were surrounded by children, and they were pretty much all talking at once. But the amazing thing is what they were saying, unprompted —

in the name of 

of the Father, 

and of the Son,

and of the 

— the two of us pastors pulled it together enough that between both us we hit most of the syllables of the entire Baptismal Blessing, in unison with the very young voices surrounding us.

I looked at the congregation: “Did you hear that? Did you hear them? Right along with the two of us? They KNOW THE WORDS OF BAPTISM NOW!”

My colleague and I looked at each other, stunned and smiling and feeling tears of joy.

Somehow we finished the rest of the Sacrament, including singing the special song about the significance of Baptism.

For a long time I’d been in the habit of including this thought in my Introduction to The Sacrament of Holy Baptism: “Whenever someone is baptized here, they are baptized into the life of this congregation, baptized into this church.” Never had I been part of a more vivid demonstration of that reality than when those Children’s Sermon people chimed in, claiming this newest person for Christ and welcoming this same precious person into their lives —

We baptize you

in the name of the Father,

and of the Son,

and of the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

— Did they grasp the full meaning of all that? Of course not.

But do we? I know I’m still learning.

And I give thanks for those children helping with my lesson that morning.

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