Thought For The Week 22 October
Welcome to our worship services today. If you are holidaying in our beautiful city this Labour weekend we’re glad you’ve taken some time aside to worship our Lord with us. At Trinity this morning we have the joy of welcoming Emma and Conrad Steven as they bring Kaylani for baptism.
Baptism is a sacrament rich in symbolism and meaning. We first encounter it in scripture at the beginning of Matthew, Mark and Luke’s gospels where John is baptizing the crowds in the river Jordan. The people came for baptism to symbolize their renewed commitment to God, the water of the river washing them clean of their sins. Jesus himself, although sinless, submits to this baptism to identify with the people. The early church picked up this practice which became an initiation and proof of inclusion into the body of Christ.
Very early in the history of the Church new born babies were brought forward for baptism. But instead of being a baptism of repentance and cleansing it became a sign of God’s covenant promise. Paul said to the Philippian jailer who in anguish wants to know what he must do to be saved; “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved-you and your household” (Acts 16:31). The whole household were immediately baptized which likely included children and infants.
In most Christian churches baptism is seen as a one-time event so people don’t generally get re-baptized if they were baptized in infancy. The Presbyterian Church practices both infant and believer’s baptism. Rory and I are happy to answer any questions you may have about this – just ask!