This morning I attended the baptism of several babies and children – one was the daughter of my best friend and her husband. Another was my best friend’s niece - the daughter of her brother and his wife. I love the sacrament of baptism in the Presbyterian Church – I might like them in other churches, too, but I don’t recall ever attending one, so who knows? One of the things I remember most about my own girls’ baptisms is the part where the minister says something like “…all this is for you – and you don’t even know it yet.” There is something quite touching about babies not knowing the depth and breadth of God’s love.
I’m not attending a particular church right now – for many reasons – but I always get a bit choked up during ceremonies like these. I suppose it’s the tradition and ritual of it that reminds me no matter how far or long I’m gone from church, some things remain the same. I find comfort in that, and perhaps that is way this morning I got teary-eyed while watching my two friends’ babies being baptized. Perhaps it was also that I couldn’t help thinking about the sheer amount of stuff that these two families have experienced in the past year: divorce, the deaths of a mother, a dear friend and a grandfather. Long before this year, my friend and her brother lost their father, and I always get teary thinking about how he didn’t get the opportunity to witness these sacraments and how proud he would be of both of his children.
My friend asked us to be a part of this day so that one day we could help tell her daughter about her baptism. I have trouble remembering what happened yesterday, but I will try to help her when the time comes. And I hope that one of the things I can tell her about this day is how many people came together for her, and how many people love both her and her cousin. There is something to be said about the way that babies bring people together and how, if only for one day, people put all sorts of things behind them for the sake of a child.
During the sermon today, the same one where, midway through, my 4 year-old daughter says “Mom! This man is a talking machine!” the minister talked about the Beatitudes and about the peacemakers being called the “children of God”. It occurred to me that indeed, children are peacemakers for many families, this one included.