In the Christian faith, baptism is one of the most important events in a person's life. Usually baptism occurs when a person is an infant, but many times it is done later in life when the individual converts to faith. Often times the event of a baptism happens during a church service. I and many of you, I am sure, have witnessed dozens of baptisms during services such as these. As Christians, we are always taught about the importance of baptism as mentioned above and how powerful and miraculous of an event it is. I must confess, though, that not knowing the child being baptized or his/her family sometimes makes it incredibly difficult to appreciate the significance of what I am witnessing.
Today I had to unspeakable pleasure to witness and sponsor the baptism of my goddaughter, Hannah. Hannah is just a few weeks old and is the second child of my very good friends. I remember when they told us the they were expecting and how excited my wife and I were when they asked us to be godparents. I joked that I was going to slick my hair back during the service and wear a suit like Al Pacino. When we stepped up to the font today to speak for her, an indescribable feeling fell over me. It is certainly true that God is present all around us all the time, but there are few circumstances in which one can say "I could really feel the presence of God." Today as Hannah had the water poured on her was one of those times. I could almost see in my mind's eye God holding her in his arms like a father does his new born child, smiling down at here with sincere and heartfelt eyes.
The feeling that this gave me was twofold: first it made me ashamed that I had taken the baptisms of so many children for granted as I watched from 15 rows back. It took seeing the miracle up close and personal that made me realize how amazing of an event each one of them were. Second, it filled me with joy that cannot possibly described in any sentence, in any story, or in any phrase. To look down on a little baby and know that she is saved is one of the best feelings a person can ever have.
What all of these things made me think of is something I do not think of often enough: my own baptism. While none of us who were baptized as infants can remember the day or the events surrounding our baptisms, we can always remember the result of the baptism and that is that we are saved by the washing of our sins away in Jesus' blood. Whenever I witness baptisms, from this time forth, I will always remember how magnificent of an event it is and how blessed I am to have been washed with the same spirit as the person being baptized. Finally the phrase "Remember your baptism" has a more profound, serious meaning to me.