Remember Your Baptism
Several years ago I was on business near my birthplace, Martinez, California (also the birthplace of Joe Dimaggio… so I’ve got that going for me!)
I decided to find the little Congregational church my family attended while I was a baby. When I did, I went inside and asked the secretary if I could look at their membership records. It wasn’t technically kosher, but I played the pastor card and was allowed to review the journal. And there it was! A few months after my birth in 1956, the record of my baptism. “Mark James Toone, son of Cletis A. and Carol M. Toone.”
I was surprised how important that moment was to me. My parents had told me of my baptism, of course. And I trusted what they told me. But to see the proof that I was, indeed, baptized into the church and claimed in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit… well, it really impacted me.
When I think of the spiritual and life journey that began when my young parents presented me before the church and before the Lord on that Sunday morning, I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Gratitude to the parents who created me, loved me and raised me in the Lord, gratitude to the Church (Big C… the universal Church) in which I found faith and was nurtured in that faith, and most of all, gratitude to God who loved me, saved me and called me into His family. Like I said, I am very, very grateful.
How about you? Are you grateful for your baptism and all that it represents? If so, have I got a worship weekend for you! This Saturday and Sunday, we will celebrate our annual Renewal of Baptismal Vows. Every person who has been baptized will have the sign of the cross traced upon their forehead and hear the words, “Remember your baptism and be thankful!” You will have a chance to respond, “I am thankful!” And those who have never been baptized will have the opportunity to confess their faith in Christ and be received into his “Big C” Church family.
It is one of the most meaningful services of the year. Please don’t miss it. (And yes, I realize there is a Seahawks playoff game on Saturday night. And yes, we will still have church. Of course!)
Happy New Year. May 2017 be full of great things worth remembering.