As we talked through last Sunday’s service Rachel mentioned, with tact and gentleness and grace, that I need to learn how to talk while I cry. This was not an issue when we got married, or when I began preaching, because I did not cry then. She knows something about this, so we talked about strategery.
For those in attendance especially, I did not cry on Sunday because our family is leaving. I cried because, as a pastor and friend, I prayed for this little girl when she was in the hospital. Maybe twice. Maybe before that even. And, to pronounce the promises of Jesus over her is powerful. When practicing that morning I could not keep from crying. When Baptizing her I could not stop. The promises, the life, the abundant blessings overwhelm me in their goodness.
I talked about the way Riverside does Baptisms (it should be a class in seminary; we do it really well). I said that Baptism is a sign and a seal on Lily, and we all look forward to hearing her profess her faith in Christ in the coming years. I asked the Darr’s if they trust Jesus with her, and if they will lean on the church when they need to. They said (you probably heard this part), “By God’s Grace we do.” I asked the church if they would support with love and love, and they said, “By God’s Grace we will”.
Then I said to Lily, “For you Jesus Christ came into the world. For you He lived and showed God’s love. For you he suffered the darkness of the cross and cried, “It is finished.” For you he triumphed over death and rose to new life. For you he reigns at God’s right hand. All this he did for you, though you do not know it yet.” For the most part, it is a quote from Wayne Larson, a Scottish Pastor who did the Royal Baptism recently. I changed some things because I wanted to, but the last part is so well said that I wanted to make sure I credited him.
I’m not sure people could hear me this past week because of my tears. Sorry Riverside folk!
I love my ‘job’.