We will celebrate the sacrament of Holy Baptism on Sunday. A sacrament is an outward and visible sign of inward and spiritual grace.
Jesus commanded baptism with water as the outward sign of our Lord’s gracious promises of new birth, forgiveness, and adoption into the family of God. It also marks a person’s decision to become a follower of Christ and a vital member of His church.
At Restoration, we baptize both adults and children. And this Sunday we will get to do both!! When we baptize adults, as in many New Testament accounts, we are celebrating their choice to follow Jesus. When we baptize infants (also alluded to in New Testament accounts such as Acts 16:30-33 and seen regularly in the early church) we are celebrating in anticipation of their future commitment to Christ.
We only baptize the children of Christian parents because those parents are taking vows on behalf of the children. They are promising to raise their kids in the church and to teach them to trust in Jesus as their forgiver and leader so that when they are old enough, the child can confirm the vows that were taken on his/her behalf.
My dear mentor, John Yates put it well,
The baptism of infants signifies the first step on the path towards their turning to God in faith and repentance, which we pray will come later. Our prayer is that as children grow, they will come to embrace Jesus Christ, who first embraces them. They are marked with the sign of the cross as belonging to Christ from the beginning. We pray that the Holy Spirit will draw these little ones to the Lord in an ever more dynamic relationship in the years to come. For those children who receive baptism rightly, there may come either a moment of dramatic conversion or a quiet series of small steps that lead eventually to mature faith and discipleship…
So join us on Sunday as we welcome Cadence, Madelyne, Aileen, Charlie, and Abby into the household of God and call them to confess the faith of Christ crucified, proclaim His resurrection, and share with us in His eternal priesthood.