Home > The Slow Grow > Jenna’s Big Day

Jenna’s Big Day

Jenna got baptized Sunday.  It was exciting.  There were maybe 90 people in the room and we had to put chairs out.  Her parents, grandparents, great grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and siblings were all in attendance to support her parents in their task of raising Jenna.  They were also there to say, “We do.”  That’s what we all said.

In the Reformed tradition we baptize infants as well as adults (if they come to faith later in life).  It might be a little different from your tradition, and I think that’s OK.  I grew up as a Baptist, and I wouldn’t have dreamed of baptizing an infant.  But, people begin to understand things a little differently as they grow and think and read for themselves.  I think that if I’m honest, I can understand both sides of the conversation pretty well, and if push came to shove on the matter, I would probably just pick myself up off the floor.  You couldn’t get me to argue with you.  I would probably just agree.  That means I think both ends of the conversation have merit.

But that’s not what I want to talk about today.  I want to talk about Jenna and the moment when we all said, “We do.”  It came as the congregation responded to this question: “Do you promise to love, encourage, and support Jenna by teaching the gospel of God’s love, by being an example of Christian faith and character, and by giving the strong support of God’s family in fellowship, prayer, and service?”

They all said, “We do.”  It was family, and it was a lot of Embody folks, and also a significant number of people from our parent church, First Reformed.  It means a lot to a parent to hear a group of 90 people make that promise to your little girl.

Two things: 1) We have to live up to that promise now.  It won’t be easy, but we have to be intentional about playing a role in Jenna’s life and witness.  We have to take seriously our vow to her and to her parents.

2) It was a moment when, whether people were thinking of this or not, we made a promise to do our best to be here in 18 years when she is on her way out of her parents’ door.  We insinuated in our vow that we would be a church that will support her and raise her up.  If she were to have understood what we were saying, she could have inferred that we promised that we were going to be an organism of the faithful that will grow just like her and as she grows to become an intelligent and lovely young lady, we will grow to be a congregation of faithful people who are continually growing in faith and in number.

I’m looking forward to watching both Jenna and Embody grow and become who God has planned for us to become.

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