Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ancient Words

Jesus loves you, Kinley! It was more than just a message on a cake or a pretty new dress.

As I watched her Mommy's hands encircle hers before morning worship began at Susanna Wesley United Methodist Church in Topeka, I thought about the legacy of faith that has been passed from generation to generation.

I know that not every denomination believes in infant baptism. But it is part of our United Methodist tradition.

In December 1985, Jill was baptized at the Stafford United Methodist Church. She was about 3 months old, similar to Kinley's 10 weeks.

And just like with Kinley, grandparents were there to witness the sacrament and stand alongside as the new parents continued a heritage of faith.

Kinley's grandparents and great-grandparents were all there to witness the special day.

Eric's brothers, Drew & Brian, sister-in-law Jillian and baby Hannah were there, too.

Kinley's cousin, Hannah, (born just one month after Kinley) will be baptized on Palm Sunday at their own church.

During an infant baptism, the parents confess their belief in Jesus Christ as their Savior and commit to nurture their child by teaching and example:
... "that the child may be guided to accept God's grace for themselves, to profess their faith openly and to lead a Christian life."
But it's more than just Jill and Eric and their families. The church family at Susanna Wesley also commits to this baptized child. Before the service, I had watched families with young children barrel headlong into the sanctuary. I watched older congregants make their way slowly down the aisles, pausing to say hello.

During the baptism sacrament, the congregation says together:
With God's help we will proclaim the good news and live according to the example of Christ. We will surround Kinley with a community of love and forgiveness, that she may grow in her trust of God and be found faithful in her service to others. We will pray for her that she may be a true disciple who walks in the way that leads to Life.
How awesome is that?!

Pastor David & Kinley

A children's choir sang during the worship service. I was struck by the message of the song, Ancient Words, by Michael W. Smith.

Holy words of our faith
Handed down to this age
Came to us through sacrifice
Oh, heed the faithful words of Christ.

Holy words long preserved
For our walk in this world
Courage, peace, a loving heart
Oh, let the ancient words impart.

And that's what I pray for Kinley.

Here's Michael W. Smith's rendition of Ancient Words. Enjoy!

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