Last Sunday’s services at Holy Comforter were amazingly joyful, with a bounty of baptisms of babies, toddlers and youth. Little Daniel led the way during the first service, followed in the second service by baby Stanley and his cousin Scarlett, then sisters Lorelai, Ogden, and Micah. There was much splashing around the baptismal font, as one by one the children were held to receive a three times handful of blessed water on their heads. Moms and dads, sisters and brothers, grandmas and grandpas, friends, and neighbors were all there to be part of the holy ceremony of initiation by water and the Holy Spirit. After the children were baptized, they then received an anointing of blessed oil on their foreheads – the mark of the cross. A lit candle was given to each, symbolizing their commission to become the light of Christ into the world. When introduced to the congregation, the newly baptized and their families processed around the sanctuary to the music and words of “I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light.” It all brought tears to our eyes – tears of joy and the feeling of being bathed in God’s immense love. The Spirit of God descended like a dove upon us all, softly and gracefully.
In January, we usually make resolutions as a fresh start for the new year. As we said the Baptismal Covenant this past Sunday, I thought about the words as a reminder of the promises – the resolutions – we have made to God, and how timely it is for us to say them again at the beginning of the year. “Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers? Will you persevere in resisting evil, and whenever you fall into sin, repent, and return to the Lord? Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ? Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself? Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?” To these questions, we respond, “I will, with God’s help.” Indeed, we need God’s help and the help of our church community to remain faithful to these promises in our everyday life and work.
Deacon Linda Brown