Last Sunday was a milestone Sunday for our community. We celebrated two infant baptisms. Ava Mae and Myra Francis are two little girls born just two days apart. We had 42 people packed into a living room to witness the event.
Baptizing children in a living room was a first for me. It was truly special and is hard to express in type. The intimacy experienced created a unique environment that emphasized the family of God being present together.
In baptism, God seals upon a heart His promises. For infants, it looks forward to a time where the Holy Spirit will awaken the child to these promises. The child must accept these promises. The parents and church community vow to disciple and raise the child up in the fear and admonition of the Lord. In baptism, the child becomes a covenant member of the church. Baptism points forward to a circumcision of the heart. Baptism shows the community of faith that we need to drown to our desires in order to rise with Christ. Though saving grace is not imputed onto the child, it is an illustration of grace. In other words, though there is nothing magical about the water, the water symbolizes the drowning of our sin. Baptism is so beautiful because it's a sacrament done within the community of believers.
We may not be an established church in the legal/corporate sense of the word but we do experience church. We do so because Christ is there, the Spirit is at work, and we are growing in belonging to one another. We do experience a growing sense of legitimacy each week we meet as a small group. Witnessing and feeling its depth and breadth in the context of a living room is like taking a shower with a fire hydrant. I believe we felt an esprit de corps, and I believe it helps spur us on to continue to grow, to reach, to serve, and to love. That's the point: To keep God's love evident and real in a lonely and broken world.