Baptism

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As I wait beneath the high pulpit to perform the rite of infant Baptism, the pleased parents beam touchingly and are smiling proudly as they carry the baby forward. It is well they should, for theirs is a fine baby.
 
The scene reminds me of the great joy and happiness, we, God’s children, along with all humanity, give to God the Father. The pride He feels in creating us and having us lightens His Heart and we should in return live so as to give Him pleasure.
 
The Baptism
 
Beloved family, the nature of parenthood is a call to follow a redeeming pattern of grace much like that of Christ. The pattern is that of love. Parents should love, guide, refine, teach, plan for and sometimes suffer for their children as they incline their growth firmly yet affectionately towards spiritual maturity.
 
Yet I would be painting you an off balance picture if I did not caution you the joy of children may be somewhat diluted by the challenge of rearing them in an increasingly amoral and degenerate civilization such as we are caught in today. Our society is worse than generations past in its pressure on the young. We are inundated on television, radio and computers by floods of filth in seeing and thinking. Grotesque, diseased and luciferous views are widely and frenetically pushed in many avenues of life.
 
To deal with the contemporary value holocaust, to enable them to survive with decency in a unbalanced world, you must show your children how to develop and sustain an inner and interior life of Christ in God. They need to be taught how to turn off the chatterings of a soul lacking materialistic world of misspent, missed, and misruled energy and go inside to sanity, peace and the eternals of God.
 
They must be able to go inside themselves to cleansing love and inner serenity, to Christ now and forever. They must needs be able to find resources of inner peace, attitudes of benevolence, feelings of grace, and inner creative peace within themselves to sustain them amidst the general madness of the perverse society around them.
 
The gift of enjoying and using an interior life may be the best gift you may give your children to maintain their mental balance and sustain their reason, hope, and sanity among masses of today’s sour secularists, mentally ill materialists and spineless mediocrities.
 
So I tell you this. See that your children are reared as to be given Christ. It is not of their after life I speak to you, though that is no small thing to be considered, but the greatest resource available in this life and the best thing that you can give your children is rear them to know and be refreshed by God. Else how are they to survive with moral reason, sanity and soul intact in the confusion, injustice, the exasperation of this often cruel and very unfair society and world?
 
It is said of the early Apostles that as in their travels, they sighted villages, they went down unto the villages.
 
And “gave them Christ.” Do so in the rearing of your children. Give them Christ.
 
Are there any godparents?
 
What is the name of the child?
 
Jesus said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, for such is the Kingdom of God.”
 
I baptize thee, John Michael, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Live thou in Christ and bear your cross so that one day you may wear His Crown in glory, and be on earth a true member of His Church and Covenant. Do you as parents and godparents promise to rear this child in Christ and do what you may to enable Him by grace to be good hearted, true and honest?
 
Answer: We do.
 
The minister holds Michael John up so the congregation may see him and says:
 
“Unto us a child is born. Unto us a son is given.” You as members of the church are responsible to God as much as any parent or godparent to do what you may to help and be supportive of this child that he may profit by being reared among saints.
 
Now, for this baby, and in all things, Give God The Glory. The hymn is: “Now Thank We All Our God.” It is in the hymnal. The number is in the bulletin.
 

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Dr. James MacLeod may be contacted through the Neill Macaulay Foundation.

 

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