Monday, September 10, 2007

Lily-Anna's Baptism

Last Sunday was Lily-Anna's baptism - a really important event in the life of our family and our little faith community.
Here are some photos - you should be able to work out what's going on in each one. Tess Ward co-led the service with me...there's one of the of me doing the actual of the 3 of us...and one of the star of the show herself.
The photos were taken by our friend Suzie - I think you'll agree she did a fine job. If you're interested, the full set can be found on her flickr page here.
I planned the service - we basically followed the Common Worship (anglican) service but with a few tweaks of our own. Towards the end we used a fantastic track by The Cinematic Orchestra while showing pictures of Lily-Anna and encouraging people to pray silently for her. We then invited people to stand one by one and offer a blessing for her life. We've collected the pieces of paper the blessings were written on and I'm going to compile them, along with a selection of the photos, and make a book for Lily to have when she's older.

Some people get very uptight about infant baptism but for me it's a fairly simple and straightforward deal. The question is this - is Lily-Anna going to be part of the community of faith or not? If she is then it's entirely appropriate for her to be baptised as baptism is the mark of being part of the covenant community. In the scriptures there are simply no categories for un-baptised members of the church. We want Lily to play a full part in the life of our little faith community and therefore she should be baptised.
Some people say that she's not old enough to know what's happening. But since when did our life with God depend on our understanding? Infant baptism symbolises beautifully for me the fact that God reaches out to us before we are ever aware of what's going on and before we are ever able to respond to God.

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