Sunday was Pumpkin's (yes, that's her blog name) baptism. It was a beautiful day all around--some 30 friends and family were there, including Pumpkin's great grandmother. The worship service was incredible...once a quarter our church does a service of healing, and it fell on the same Sunday as the baptism--which was oh so right in so many ways. One of the great things our pastor does is break up the baptismal liturgy into sections that span the course of the entire worship service, making the baptism a part of the whole worship experience and not just a compartmentalized addition on the side. And as our opening hymn we sang At the Font We Start Our Journey, a relatively recent hymn by Jeffery Rowthorn. Here's the lyrics:
At the font we start our journey,
in the Easter faith baptized;
doubts and fears no longer blind us,
by the light of Christ surprised.
Hope held out and realized.
At the pulpit we are fashioned
by the Easter tale retold
into witnesses and prophets,
by the power of Christ made bold.
Faith proclaimed, yet still untold.
At the altar we are nourished
with the Easter gift of bread;
in our breaking it to pieces
see the love of Christ outspread.
Life embraced, yet freely shed.
At the door we are commissioned,
now the Easter victory's won,
to restore a world divided
to the peace of Christ as one.
Easter's work must still be done.
Promises were made. Promises by her mother and I, promises by her sponsors, promises by the congregation. And as the water was poured over her head, she was baptized into the death of Christ and raised to new life, she was sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ forever.
Pumpkin, Mommy and I love you more than you'll ever know. But there is One who loves you even more, and with a more perfect love than we'll ever have. May you grow up to know that One, to draw your strength and faith from that One, and to serve that One by serving others.