So, baptizing babies is pretty awesome.
It is apparently that time of year at Beckville: two this month and one next month, which is a baptism bonanza for a little country church. What’s great about baptizing is: it never gets old. I think I could do one every week and never get tired of it (although I might see about having quarterly “baptismal festivals” like my worship professors adorably suggested in seminary).
When my father, speaking with a pair of Parisians in, as you might guess, Paris, tried to explain why he loved being a journalist (or, as I believe we both prefer, “newspaper man”), he came up with this John Lux Classic: “The News is New Every Day.” That is the kind of magic that happens when you have been assured that the young couple with whom you are dining speaks excellent English, but in fact their English is “technically correct, but not idiomatic . . . . And in trying to convey the excitement of working at a newspaper, he expressed it in the simplest words possible: The news is new every day. They appeared mystified!” (Pro Tip: When you can’t remember the exact details of a classic family story, email your mother and quote her directly.)
Well, that’s what baptism (and baptizing) feels like–new every day. I will never get tired of saying, “you have been sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ forever.” I will never get tired of pouring that storied water and tracing that saving cross on the forehead of a brand new child of God.
And I will never, ever get tired of the “victory lap”: the time when I walk very slowly with the newly baptized down one side of the aisle and up the other, making sure all her new brothers and sisters in Christ get a good look. The joy in those faces, especially the oldest ones–who have seen many more victory laps than I will ever make–is beautiful and brand new every time.
A Bible verse (or three) to top it off: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”–Lamentations 3:22-24, brought to mind by my friend Lynn’s lovely blog.