Thought For The Weekby Pastor David Alexander
If you have ever stepped back from a view, you have experienced the benefit of a wider perspective. When you step back, it enables your eyes to see and appreciate more of what is before you.
That same thing occurs when you take a moment, a day, or even a short season to step back from the everyday patterns and routines of life. You see more, and the bigger picture reveals things you have been missing that have been there all along.
It reveals those things we too easily take for granted.
In many ways, returning from an extended time away has offered me the chance to see things that I have “taken for granted” or failed to properly appreciate.
When I returned last week, I learned that in the four preceding weeks we celebrated 12 baptisms.
One of those was done by Pastor Caesar who, after receiving that child into his arms, the baby immediately started to cry. That’s the point when most pastors - myself included - usually try to move through the baptism as quickly as possible in order to return the child to a Mom or Dad’s familiar arms.
Caesar had a different response. He decided to sing.
If you have not seen the video of that, you can view that here.
It’s worth a few minutes of your time.
I had the chance to baptize two more children this last weekend which means that in the middle of what some churches see as the “summer slump” our church has been blessed to share this sacred moment of baptism fourteen times.
During one of those baptisms this past weekend, I was struck by the thought that this is the first of many sacred moments we pray will happen at our altar over the course of the next eighteen years of that little girl’s life.
- We pray that one day we will have the honor at our altar to present to her a 2nd grade Bible and pray for the Word that has blessed and transformed our lives would do the same in her life.
We pray that one day she might come again to our altar to confirm the promises made on her behalf at her baptism and profess her own faith and commitment to live as a disciple of Christ. (You may not know that with every child I baptize I share with parents a letter for them to keep and one day give to their child on the day of their Confirmation.)
We pray that one day she will return to our altar as she approaches her High School graduation where again we might pray for her in celebration of all that she will have already done and all she will continue to do as she moves into a new phase of life.
And maybe even one day she might come to that altar again to share sacred words of promise,“to love and to cherish... in sickness and in health... till death us do part.”
That little girl was wearing the same gown her mother wore when she was baptized, and that Mom and Dad brought their new baby girl to an altar to which they have come many times before.
It is too easy for us to take moments like that for granted.
It is too easy to fail to properly appreciate the incredible significance of the promises that we make to one another and the life-changing impact that we can have in each other’s lives in this community we call the Body of Christ.
I hope this reminder inspires you as it did for me.
I hope it challenges you as well.
The hopes that God has for our children’s future demand our very best.
That is true for every child that has been baptized into this community called the church.
But it is also true for every person you encounter every single day.
That is why God has planted you and me here in this community. We are here to reach each and every person we can with the good news of what Jesus has done on their behalf.
May we never take for granted the burden and blessing of this sacred task.
Grace & Peace,