Baptism Curiosity

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Jordan B. Davis
Church Relations Officer

I have witnessed many baptisms and blessed one baby during my Clinical Pastoral Education internship, but on Sunday I was the closest I have ever been to a baptism since my own. As ordained clergy, I was invited to stand with Rev. John Maurice Thomas and the family as Rev. Thomas baptized a beautiful two year old girl at Calvary Presbyterian Church in Wilson, NC.

As Rev. Thomas prayed and baptized this sweet girl in the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit I couldn’t help but notice the curiosity and bewilderment in her eyes as the water ran down her forehead. She looked around at her family gathered in front of her, looked to Rev. Thomas, and looked at me. She knew something special was happening, but didn’t know what… yet.

Meanwhile, I stood next to her and took in the moment, probably with a very similar curious look on my face. Baptism is an incredible thing, and we spend a great deal of time talking about it in seminary. We discuss the theology as well as the logistics, but until we are ordained we don’t actually get to take part. I never touched the water this past Sunday, but I was right there. I could feel the love, the excitement, and the curiosity in a way that never quite reaches the pews nearby.

During the final prayer, I couldn’t take my eyes off of my new Sister. She squirmed in Rev. Thomas’s arms and wiped some water off of her forehead, looking at the small bead on her finger. Her curiosity seemed to have no end.

Looking back on these special moments, I wonder what the Church would look like if we all approached our faith with the curiosity of a young child, examining the water from their forehead?

What if we took the time to dig deeper and get excited about what God is doing in our life, even if we don’t understand exactly what is going on?

No theologian, scholar, or scientist can tell us exactly what happens when the waters of baptism wash over us but through our faith, we know that the water changes us.

As the rains come down this week, let the drops wash over you and remember your baptism. Know that through those waters, through God’s love and grace, you have been forever changed. Know that as brothers and sisters in Christ, we have all been washed by those waters.

Wipe the water off of your forehead and exam it. Look around at the world around and ask God what God is doing. Get excited and reach out for those around you just as the squirming child reaches out to her family.

Give in to the bewilderment and excitement that is your baptism!

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2 thoughts on “Baptism Curiosity

  1. My beloved father, the late Ernest Gray Buckles of Bristol, Tennessee, although holding a strong faith in God and in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, had never been baptized. In the mid 1990s he was a “shut in” and could not get out to go to church. His two sisters, with whom he was very close, who had passed away several years before that, had been long time members of Central Presbyterian Church in Bristol, VA. Dad wanted to be baptized so I got in touch with the Pastor of Central Presbyterian Church who did pre-baptism counseling with Dad and then baptized him, in his bedroom in our family home, using a silver Revere bowl I had given my parents for their silver wedding anniversary some years before. Dad seemed to have a special peace about him in the time before he passed on to be with the Lord. A few years later, my beloved daughter was baptized using the same Revere bowl used to baptize her Grandfather at Hebron Presbyterian Church in Manakin-Sabot, VA. We treasure that connection and love still having that Revere bowl used for both baptisms.

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