Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A First, A First!

On the 17th of September, I was honored to participate in the baptism of two adorable baby girls. The one I'm holding is the one I actually baptized (John baptizing the other). She was my very first baptism. With almost a year into my ordained ministry, I felt... not "not a minister" but not quite complete. I had only presided over one half of our sacraments, after all!

I had been looking forward to this moment for some time. Baptisms are a huge deal to me - I remember very clearly my biological siblings (they were both baptized by our great-uncle and great-grandfather at our family reunion on a Minnesotan lake - yep those ministers got in the water and performed the sacrament!). Because both were done in the midst of all my extended family, I have always had a strong awareness that baptism is in large part about family. As I grew older, I came to appreciate that the family was much bigger than even my own large fam. The family we're baptized into is the Christian family, a family which trancends boundaries like race, age, political beliefs, gender, sexuality, class, geography, and even time.

So to be able to welcome a person into this family by offering them the waters of baptism... I'll admit it, I got a little choked up right before the service started. But once it did, and once this adorable girl was in my arms and I was saying the words which had come from our Savior himself, repeating them to her, welcoming her into this family, no threat of tears. Not because it wasn't moving - it was - but because it went beyond, the "aw' factor... it was the "awe" factor. I was in awe of the moment, awe that I could feel the Spirit working through me, awe that God had called me to do this.

I'm sure the baptisms which I will continue to preside over will move me, but I know this one will always be AWE-mazingly special.


kairos said...

Awesome! I remember my first church baptism too, about six months ago. (My first first was doing CPE, but that's a bit different)

Thanks for this reflection, and I'm glad your first was as memorable as mine was...

katie said...

this is a great story/reflection, amy - i'll admit i teared up a bit reading it! it sounds like you're doing great work - i was thinking about you and our jesus/feminist/reformed class the other day and am glad i found your blog!