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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sara Wells' Baptism

One of the best things about being a pastor's wife is that your husband gets to baptize your children. Murray has had the privilege to baptized all three of our children. This past Sunday he baptized Sara Wells. On the way to church I was talking with Ella and Miller about what we were going to do and explaining why they were going to stand up front with Daddy. Ella asked why we were baptizing Sara Wells. Trying to explain the Covenant to a four year old is not the easiest thing. But I ended our conversation telling her Sara Wells' baptism serves as a Sign and Seal of the Covenant. As Murray baptized Sara Wells, I kept thinking of my conversation with Ella and the full significance of what was going on really hit me. Baptism is a sign of the Covenant in that it represents the membership that a baptized person holds in the Covenant. It doesn't grant them membership, it represents the membership they already hold. Baptism is also a seal. For adults, it serves to remind them of the sealing work of Christ on their behalf represented in the washing with water. For infants today, like those who received the sign and seal in the Old Testament, it represents an engagement to be the Lord's. At that moment with Murray holding Sara Wells and Ella and Miller standing with Murray and me, I realized how deep our heritage with the Lord is. Thousands of years ago, he made a Promise to Abraham that he is still keeping and will not stop keeping. Watching Sara Wells be baptized reminded me how precious we all are to the Lord. So often I go through my day and I just don't think about how the Lord is always working in my life. I just don't think about the significance of being in the Covenant Family of believers. Because of the Covenant God will never stop working in my life. He is always at work in me and in my children. That is amazing! No matter what I do, God will not break the Covenant he made and he will continue to work in my life drawing me closer to him. And is already working in the lives of Ella, Miller and Sara Wells to draw them to himself! Wow!!!

It was a very special day!

I am sure that anyone from Cahaba Park Church reading this will wonder how in the world I was thinking of all of that during the baptism because it did not go quite as smooth and peaceful as these pictures make it look. This last picture is a little glimpse of what really went on (of course my camera battery died right in the middle so the entire event was not documented, including the actual baptism).

You see Murray grabbing Miller's arm as he is talking. I will say in Miller's defense that I had to give him his nebulizer before we went to church because his asthma had flared up so bad he could not stop coughing. So, by the time we got to church Miller was wired! Also, most kids are intimidated when they go to the front of the church because the preacher is talking to them in front of everyone. Well, when your daddy is the preacher, you feel very comfortable standing up front. The intimidation factor is zero! Ella and Miller had joined Murray up front during the song before the baptism, which was very sweet until Miller started dancing and spinning in circles. So by the time the song was over, Miller felt very comfortable up front and started walking around, going behind the pulpit, crossing in front of Murray while he was talking (the picture above), protesting very loudly that he did not want to do what we were asking him to do. At one point Miller started pulling on the curtain that runs behind the entire front of the "sanctuary" (really just blocking the lockers since we meet in a high school). I just knew the curtain was going to fall. The only thing worse really that could have happened was if Miller ran down the aisle either laughing or crying and we had to chase him. I felt so bad for Sara Wells that all the attention on this special day was on her brother and sister. But you know what, Sara Wells was baptized and the Lord was not distracted one bit! All of his attention was right there at that moment as His Sacrament was administered to his precious child! Of course I was a little embarrassed and frustrated by it, but I just have to laugh. Miller was just being Miller and God was not distracted by a two year old!

One thing is for sure, no one at Cahaba Park can feel bad about what their children do during a baptism!

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