Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Joy of Baptism

Through Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit on the water, the baptized are “born of water and the Spirit” (John 3:5). We die to this sin and are given new life in Christ (Rom 6:3-6). Sins are washed clean through faith in Christ and by His merit. All sin is forgiven (Acts 2:38), including personal sin and original sin, that sinful nature into which we are born. We are made to belong to the body of Christ. For babies, baptism means original sin is washed clean and they are imprinted with God’s gift of faith, with the mark of those who belong to Christ.


The element from which flowed the fruits of Christ's first miracle.

The platform upon which the steps of a faithful apostle were taken.

The substance through which our son, Charles, was blessed into the Christian life.

Baptism.  Beautiful, wonderful, holy, mysterious, joyful baptism.
Although this is the fifth baptism in our family, it always feels like the first.  It's extraordinary.
With family and friends in town, there was so much excitement in our home, in our hearts as we anticipated the baptism day.  Even the boys ran into the church, dressed in their best, ready to witness the sacrament.
For me, there is something so wonderful about dressing my babies in the church instead of at home.  
All of the ladies gathered around us.  It just seemed so natural for them as mothers to be there...
Most especially, the proud grandmothers.
Charles's Godmother, Elena, is studying to be a French teacher at K-State.  We loved listening to her converse with my sister, Sara, who also speaks French while wrestling Charles into his attire.  His first French immersion experience. Who needs Baby Einstein?
Though we are both sleep-deprived and running circles around our party of 5, we haven't stopped smiling since Charles has entered the world, entered our lives. That day we were beaming!  Our son was going to become a Christian, a saint!
Steve's sister snapped this pic.  I can only imagine what stories Steve is sharing with our beloved priest, Fr. Schawe.  Maybe it's best that I don't know...
Our Goddaughter, Brianna handed flowers and a prayer card to everyone who attended.  She often asks to hold Charles and embraces him carefully, patiently and lovingly...her sidekick George? Um, not so much.  
Father extends his blessing over the waters...
and joyfully washes Charles head in the sacramental.
Charles's head and chest are anointed with the Chrism oil.  All who join the Catholic Church are anointed with the same, fragrant oil. It smells wonderful. We all become devoted head-sniffers afterward, and no bath is given until the scent is sniffed away!  (Charles had a bath today, in case anyone was wondering...!)
Godparents light the baptismal candle from the flame of the Easter candle.  As Christians, we bring the light of Christ to the world.  The Godfather could not be present, so my dad was a fabulous stand-in. Yep, that's him, stage right, in suit. Thanks, Dad!
Even though Charles cried through most of the ceremony, Father was never distracted nor frustrated.  He carried on with a smile, and even hung around for a picture. 
"Hey Father, could you baptize us again, for real this time??  I think it would make mom real happy."
Just kiddin'!  The gangs all here, and we all be baptized!  Awesome!
We have secretly adopted Elena into our family.  Now she is a member for-real.  Godmother is family! There's no turnin' back, honey!
Speakin' of family, who's this cutie-tutti you ask?  This is my niece, Peyton and her older twin, I mean her dad, my brother, Scott (they look like trouble, don't they?  They are right at home with us!) The beautiful epitome of patience beside them is Scott's wife Stephanie.  We were so happy they could join us!

So, what happens after a baptism?  A Catholic baptism?  Well, a party of course! Stay tuned....

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