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Wiggly Fingers in The Water

June 5, 2021

How do you explain The Sacrament of Baptism to a young child?

A trusted and loved friend and colleague asked that recently.

I replied that I’m sure I have something somewhere on a shelf or still in a box from when we moved (wait, was that really almost 4 years ago that I retired?). But nothing sprang to mind.

Except.

Except those moments when baptizing an infant/toddler/child immediately before or after the Children’s Sermon.

And the person being baptized, and the adult(s) who were there with her or him, and I were all surrounded by Children’s Sermon people.

After a few times of doing this, I noticed that the children up front were quietly saying most of the liturgy with me.

After the Baptism, but before returning to their seats, the children up front would come over the baptismal font, peek over the top edge, and dip their fingers into the water. It was not uncommon to see a slightly taller child lift up someone else to see and touch the water for themselves.

Of all my memories of worship and preaching, among my favorites are those moments of wiggly fingers in the water.

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