Friday, February 15, 2008

Friday Five: Baptism edition

From the RevGals:

In this Sunday's gospel Nicodemus asks Jesus, "How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother's womb and be born?" Poor old Nicodemus! He was so confused about the whole "water and Spirit" business of baptism. For today's five, tell us about your baptismal experiences.

When and where were you baptized? Do you remember it? Know any interesting tidbits?
I was baptized on April 30, 1974 at the Blytheville Air Force Base hospital. Easy for me to remember, because it's also the day I was born. There were some pretty big complications surrounding my birth, and they weren't sure I was going to survive, so my baptism was an emergency one. I need to ask my parents about the details...not sure who was in the room at the time it happened, or how long after I was born...but now that I'm thinking about it, I really oughta ask. My curiosity is piqued. =)

What's the most unexpected thing you've ever witnessed at a baptism?
Well, I really haven't seen anything funny or strange or out-of-the-ordinary...BUT, I can tell you how surprised I was when I was in 4th or 5th grade and was an acolyte at a service that included a baptism. Before the service, the pastor called me over and handed me the little bowl that goes in the baptismal font, and asked me to fill it halfway with warm water. I asked him where we kept the baptism water.

After he was finished laughing, he told me that we kept the baptism water right over there in the tap above the kitchen sink, and that once I turned the faucet, I'd have all the baptism water I needed. But to make sure to make it a little warm so it didn't startle the baby too much.

I couldn't believe we used just normal, everyday tap water for such a miraculous event. Now, I see the beauty in it...Jesus using common, ordinary elements to impart the holy. But as a 4th grader...just didn't seem quite right. =)

Does your congregation have any special traditions surrounding baptisms?
During the service itself, the children of the congregation are invited to the font to get a "close-up" view of what's happening. I love when churches do that...helps connect kids to the idea that there's really something going on there. And after the baptism, the congregation sings Jesus Loves Me. I love that for two reasons: first, the song expresses the gift of love that baptism is, and second, it's another way to involve the kids.

Are you a godparent or baptismal sponsor? Have a story to tell?
Sweetie and I are sponsors for Krugie23's son (who also happens to be Kiddo's best friend). We're proud of our godson, and love him to pieces. As he continues to grow up, we look forward to many years of spiritual mentoring and guidance, and hope that we do the best job we possibly can of living up to the promises we made the day he was baptized.

Do you have a favorite baptismal song or hymn?
Right now my favorite is We Know That Christ Is Raised by John Geyer. I love that it's just as fitting theologically as a funeral hymn as it is a baptism hymn--a reminder that we are baptized into Christ's death and reborn as a new creation.

1.We know that Christ is raised and dies no more.
Embraced by death, he broke its fearful hold,
and our despair he turned to blazing joy.
Hallelujah!

2. We share by water in his saving death.
Reborn, we share with him an Easter life,
As living members of our Savior Christ.
Hallelujah!

3.The Father’s splendor clothes the Son with life.
The Spirit’s fission shakes the Church of God.
Baptized, we live with God the Three in One.
Hallelujah!

4. A new creation comes to life and grows
As Christ’s new body takes on flesh and blood
The universe restored and whole will sing:
Hallelujah!

LH

9 comments:

Wyldth1ng said...

Nifty.

Sally said...

I love that story about baptism water- and I've never thought about ordinary elemants before...great play, thanks!

Rev Scott said...

I did the same thing once at the LSC when Larry did a baptism - at least you were only 13 when it happened!

RevHRod said...

Great play and thanks for reminding me of that hymn. It's also great for the Easter season.

Rev Kim said...

Great play! I too love the story about the baptismal water. I remember seeing my pastor come into the church kitchen getting water for a baptism, and I was surprised too that it was ordinary tap water!

I like the tradition you shared. I'm looking for something to do in our church, and you gave me some great ideas.

Auntie Knickers said...

Great play, and good theology on the baptism water. Still, I can't help feeling that it's kind of cool that my daughters were baptized with water from the River Jordan. A friend who has a son slightly older than elder daughter, donated it to the church. Her dad had gone on a Rotary trip to Israel and, knowing a baptism was upcoming, brought back a bottle. He was a doctor, so he sterilized it in his autoclave. Then again, thinking scientifically about water, evaporation, condensation, and all -- I'd say all water is probably Jordan River water -- so we're right back to where you started!

Mary Beth said...

This was my hymn choice, too!

Tee hee, tap water!

Hot Cup Lutheran said...

"the universe restored and whole will sing"... how positively beautiful!

you are in a good place LH, a very supportive church family there. so excited for you as you look forward to the new arrival... your heart is surely going to sing! prayers for you, your wife, kiddo & baby...

david said...

Some really good answers here. Thanks.

BTW...see my blog for a meme. I tagged you.