National Blog Post, baptism edition

Have you ever watched someone give birth? I haven't seen it from the other end (lol!) but I've been on the working side of enough births to remember that upheaval. It's not the pain, but striving, the whole body working and pushing and stretching to create a newness of life. Even greater than giving birth, is the process of watching life. As parents, we're called to do something much harder than birth our children, we are called to raise them. That doesn't mean just telling them what they can do, or what they can't do, or when they should do it. Sometimes it means stepping back and just watching them grow and learn.

Today, a young man was baptized at our church. He isn't one of mine, but he's someone whom I know, whom I've seen growing physically. Even more so, I've been witness to his spiritual growth. And last week I was called to become a partner in that growth, to sponsor him in the process of baptism. I was honored. I was surprised. I asked for time to think. What a huge step for me, I've never been asked to be a sponsor for baptism, though I've gone through the process of choosing them for my own children. And now the pressure is on!

For the people I have chosen to sponsor my children in baptism, are those every day saints that I blogged about last Sunday. I want to choose people who exemplify Christ in their lives every single day. People who don't just show up on Sundays for church. People who are living and thinking and growing in Christ and live as witnesses to His ministry. While our church does perform infant baptism (and correspondingly, a confirmation in which children take over the very serious vows of being a Christian), several of our children were much older when they were baptized, because I didn't feel that God had someone put into our lives for that purpose. Not yet.

The sermon for today's baptismal service was about God choosing us to live as saints. For much of our written history in the bible, He has chosen what would be considered the underdog. For what purpose? I have no idea, and it's not my job to figure out. But from the miscreants kicked out of Eden, to a felon on the lamb from Egypt, ending up with a teenage mother who's son hangs with the lowest of the low ("Jesus, a tax collector, really?" "Ma...stop trying to pick my friends"), God has not chosen people in power, people with fancy words or high horses. He's picked you and me, and anyone else who has the love of God written in their hearts.

So now I feel led to grow myself. If I am to sponsor a teenager in his vows, I must be willing to live by the standards to which I hold my children's sponsors. And today I give thanks that I was able to witness the birth of a new Christian, upheaval and all. This young man isn't the only new Christian born today, because I also have undergone a new birth. Christ's calling in me has changed, so that I have been born again in Him. And I give thanks that God is willing to choose me.