Baptism marks the beginning of a journey with God, which continues for the rest of our lives, the first step in response to God’s love. For all involved, particularly the candidates, but also parents, godparents and sponsors, it is a joyful moment when we rejoice in what God has done for us in Christ, making serious promises and declaring the faith. The wider community of the local church and friends welcome the new Christian, promising support and prayer for the future. Hearing and doing these things provides an opportunity to remember our own baptism and reflect on the progress made on that journey, which is now to be shared with this new member of the Church.
The service paints many vivid pictures of what happens on the Christian way. There is the sign of the cross, the badge of faith in the Christian journey, which reminds us of Christ’s death for us. Our ‘drowning’ in the water of baptism, where we believe we die to sin and are raised to new life, unites us to Christ’s dying and rising, a picture that can be brought home vividly by the way the baptism is administered. Water is also a sign of new life, as we are born again by water and the Spirit, as Jesus was at his baptism, And as a sign of that new life, there may be a lighted candle, a picture of the light of Christ conquering the darkness of evil. Everyone who is baptised walks in that light for the rest of their lives.
As you pray for the candidates, picture them with yourself and the whole Church throughout the ages, journeying into the fullness of God’s love.
Jesus said, ‘I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.’ John 10.10.
If you are interested in arranging a Baptism, Rev. Shirley Devine holds an Office Hour on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month at St. John’s between 6.00pm and 7.00pm to discuss.