I have set my rainbow in the clouds

Miss Dylan Elizabeth was baptized on Sunday, and we had lots of family in town to celebrate. The service and liturgy were beautiful, and it was so powerful to hear the congregation, our family, and friends pledge to support Dylan in her faith.

Growing up Presbyterian, I was baptized as an infant. In high school, I went to a Baptist youth group and was able to be present at the baptisms of several of my friends and witness their professions of faith. In college, I attended and volunteered with the youth ministry at a non-denominational church, (which, according to B, are mostly closet Baptist churches.) On youth Sunday, the youth pastor I served with was baptizing students, and I decided to be baptized again. My decision came about from reading passages like this one:

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life (Romans 6:4)

It wasn't that I didn't think my baptismal sprinkling as an infant "took;" I simply wanted my baptism to reflect my own profession of faith--not just my parents. In baptism we identify with the death and resurrection of Christ. I resonated with being dunked in a ritual bath, symbolizing the putting off of my sinful nature and claiming my identity as a new creation in Christ. I picked Colossians 2:6-7 as my baptismal verses:

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

While I still like the idea of baptism as a public profession of the faith of a child or adult who is old enough to articulate it, I don't think the infant-baptizers necessarily have it wrong. Not only is our salvation a gift from God--so is the very faith that enable us to receive it. Baptizing infants too young to confess faith is a perfect picture of God's grace reaching out to us in our absolute helplessness.

When Dylan is older, I pray that she will come to know, love, and serve the Lord, and she can demonstrate that publicly in her first communion and confirmation. Her baptism yesterday, in my mind, spoke more to the gracious nature of God and offered a time for our family and community to renew our own faith commitments and desire to help Dylan grow into the person God has created her to be.

This gorgeous rainbow appeared the afternoon of Dylan's baptism, a reminder of God's many covenants, to Noah and creation, to Dylan, and to all of us. We could see the full bow, and it fell all the way to the ground in front of those trees. At another point, dual rainbows were visible. Amazing.

Team Paul

Sharing secrets with Great-Grandma. Dylan is wearing the gown I wore at my baptism, made with love by both my Grandmas, my mom, and my Great Grandma.

Entertaining Grandma and Grandpa

"Uncle Wonderful," Dylan's godfather

Aunt B

Dylan's Grammy, Poppy, and Aunt Christie also came out, but unfortunately, I didn't get pictures of you. Hopefully we can get them all passed around:)


Trisha said...

What great pictures. I also have the gown that I was baptized in...I hope to have a little girl someday that can wear it :) Dylan is beautiful...and what an awesome picture of the two of you in front of the rainbow. Is that your cloth wrap?

Kay Aker said...

What a harbinger!

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