Yesterday, November17, 2013, our Ben was baptized. I hope you’ll indulge me the onslaught of pictures about to come, but it was such a beautiful, special day. One I will always cherish and hold close to my heart.
When we met with our minister last week to discuss the baptism, she gave me this book to read: United Methodists and the Sacraments. Because I grew up in a Baptist church in the tradition of full immersion, adult baptism, I still had some lingering questions about the theology behind infant baptism. This book did an excellent job answering those questions and in general deepening my understanding of the traditions of the Methodist Church. This passage stood out:
“Methodism is a ‘means of grace’ tradition. We acknowledge the presence of grace working in many ways; but we believe that there are certain means – channels, instruments – through which we can confidently anticipate receiving grace. It is somewhat like the wind: it blows wherever and whenever it wills; it touches people everywhere. Still, there are certain locations on the face of our planet where the winds can be confidently anticipated. These are the trade winds. We know where they are and from what direction they blow almost all the time. They can be relied upon. John Wesley taught that God’s means of grace are like that. They can be relied upon…..Sacraments can be understood as especially powerful and dependable means of grace. They are never ways in which we attempt to earn salvation, for that is impossible. They are, instead, ways through which we are given what God wants us to have. Because God has chosen to so use them, baptism and Holy Communion convey God’s transforming love to us most effectively. Because God directed us to celebrate them, the sacraments can be trusted to fulfill the divine promise. There must never be a question of whether we have to practice baptism and Holy Communion. No, it is rather that we get to practice them.”
Thank you to all our friends and family who were there Sunday to make this day of blessing even more special. And a big thanks to my sister, Laura, for taking these photos!