The Sundays of Pentecost are starting to look like Super Bowl announcements. They always begin to do that around this time in the Christian year, at least if you use roman numerals, as is the custom at Trinity Parish. I suppose it's appropriate given that now we're right in the middle of football season.
On this Sunday we welcomed Nadia Ava A. into the body of Christ as she was baptized during our parish worship. Lots of her relatives were with us, and it was a truly joyful celebration. I was scheduled to preach, and so at the right time I pulled up a chair in front of little Nadia and she and I had a brief conversation about what was going on. Of course, the others in the congregation overheard it too, and that was OK. But I told Nadia who I was, and then explained that we were all there because of the Good News that we had heard sometime in our lives and had come to trust. And I told her that same Good News: that she was beloved by God, that God would always love her, and that nothing she could ever do could take away God's love from her. I explained that we knew this because of Jesus, who was God and was also a little seven-month-old baby just like Nadia. I told her that we're going to welcome he as our new sister in the community of all Christians in the world, and that everyone there was going to be her brothers and sisters. I even told her how Jesus himself was baptized, just like she was going to be. I then said that we give thanks for Jesus every Sunday with a meal "like any other meal, and like no other meal." I invited her to come to the Table whenever she and her parents felt ready for her to receive the Bread and the Wine, and I hoped that she would let us grow with her as she grows up. I observed that none of what was going on today was going to make any sense to her, but that that was OK, and that as she came back Sunday by Sunday it would begin to, and I hoped she and her parents would do that. I finished by saying that I'd see her back at the Font in just a few minutes.
The Baptism and Communion itself was a wonderful experience. I hope and pray Nadia will remember it every year on this date, and that she will grow in the full stature of Christ as well.
Grant us, Lord, not to be anxious about earthly things, but to love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among things that are passing away, to hold fast to those that shall endure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.