Baptism and A New Creation

Yesterday, I baptized Charlotte Meade. Seven months old…the biggest bluest eyes I’ve seen in a long time. She didn’t take those eyes off me while I blessed the water. Didn’t seem to mind getting wet either. Or, the oil when I made the sign of the cross on her little forehead and told her she was “Sealed by the Holy Spirit in Baptism, and marked as Christ’s own for ever!”Communion was a different matter however.

Her parents were happy to complete the initiatory rite by having her receive Communion on the day of her baptism. So, I broke off the tiniest piece of the Host, touched it briefly to the Wine, and placed it on her tongue. She wrinkled up her nose pretty good at the taste of this adult food. And I expect her folks will want to wait awhile before having her become a regular communicant! But, having the three actions done together – baptism, chrismation, and first communion – is very ancient. Done always by the Orthodox, increasingly by the Roman Catholics, and by ourselves as well.  Because grace always comes to us before we are able to understand it, or ready to receive it! And it’s not up to us; it’s up to God!

The rector made a nice point in his sermon. He was talking about the chaos we often experience in our lives. And about how scary that can be. But he reminded us that chaos is really the first step in a new creation. In Genesis the Spirit of God hovers over the face of the waters when the earth was without form and void. It was pretty much chaos. But God brought order out of chaos…and said that it was good.

I don’t know if that priest remembered that it was Earth Day yesterday, but I was reminded of it by his remarks. The reason Christians are to care for the earth is that it is God’s creation, that it is very good, and that we have been given a role as stewards of that creation. The Spirit of God still hovers over the face of the earth…and renews it again and again…if we will just get out of the way and stop interrupting the natural cycles which result in a creation, ever new.

The preacher did connect God’s Spirit hovering over the waters to what we were about to do in baptism, however. Just like at the creation, the Holy Spirit hovers over the waters in the font…and from those waters too brings order out of chaos; a new creation out of the old; a rising out of the dying.  And that’s what we celebrate at every Baptism…and at every Eucharist.  It’s what we were praying about in the Collect for Today:

“O God, by the abundance of your grace you unfailingly increase the number of your children: Look with favor upon those you have chosen to be members of your Church, that, having been born again in Baptism, they may be granted a glorious resurrection…

That’s what happened to Charlotte Meade yesterday! It’s what’s happened to all of us.



One Response to “Baptism and A New Creation”

  1. marcomarcus Says:

    nice post, btw are u a cathlolic? I was wondering if you were a christian or catholic..:)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: