Friday, August 6, 2010

Washed


Flickr photo by smlions12, creative commons
Do you remember your baptism?
Maybe you were just a baby and you have only the memories your parents shared with you. Or maybe you were older and were pushed into joining the church. Or maybe not. Maybe it was one of your most powerful experiences of your life, or maybe the meaningful part came later, when your faith grew, and you learned what it really means to be take your part in the church, your place in the family of God.

I've been thinking a lot lately about my baptism, probably because I just wrote about it over on the Being page of this blog. I hoped it might work as a way to introduce myself to newcomers here, to give a feel to who I am and why I write. And I hope it will encourage folks to keep coming back, to sit down in the circle and share your own faith stories.

As you can see by my own account, my baptism had a slightly shady/weird/embarrassing beginning, but it turned out to set me on my faith journey in quite a powerful way.
That's not so surprising, I suppose. Baptisms tend to be moving, powerful experiences.
Every single time I watch one, whether it be a baptism of a baby or an old man, in a church or in a swimming pool or creek or river, I say to myself, "That's got to be the most beautiful one I've seen yet."
And don't even get me talking about my children's baptisms. I'm all out of Kleenex!

So today I'm hoping that you'll share some baptism memories of your own. They could be of your own baptism, or others you've witnessed.
I hope you'll share!

Have an awesome weekend, y'all!
Love, Becky

PS. Enjoy this beautiful song, Been to the Water, by my friend, award winning songwriter Kyle Matthews.

20 comments:

Kat said...

My childrens' baptisms really stick out in my mind.

When my oldest was baptized I remember that being the first day that I really felt like I was a mom. I was getting him dressed in his little suit (he was about 2 months old) and I just started to cry. I felt so honored. It was just amazing.

And then Grace's baptism. Having my three boys stand up in front of church with us as Grace was baptized, all of us laying our hands on her for her blessing. It was more than I could have dreamed of. Beautiful.

:)

Faith Hope Cherrytea said...

i'm thinking of my youngest son's baptism as a teenager - his heart choice to follow Christ - and what that meant to this mom! ...
God's amazing chain of grace...

Robin said...

I was baptized in my late 20s in the Methodist church my husband and I wanted to join. I had NO idea what I was doing. The meaning of that day and act has really flowered into understanding in the last two years.

Rev. Sharon said...

I remember my baptism very well indeed, because it happened when I was 14; it was in a special pool built into the area behind the organ pit in the northern Baptist church I attended as a young'un. I wore a white graduation robe and (unfortunately) blue underwear... :) But it was a wonderful moment full of grace, hope, and trust.

Of course I remember my son's baptism as well, and each one I've been privileged to attend as God's hands holding some little life about to be made new. :) I agree with you, it's hard to watch a baptism and not have tears well up... lovely Friday Five!

Angie Muresan said...

I am going to the baptism of both my niece and my nephew this Sunday. I cannot wait! I remember attending so many baptisms when I was young, but my favorite one is the baptism of my grandmother. Living in communist Romania at the time, christians could be fined or imprisoned if caught in the act of baptizing or being baptized. She told me of how the newly converted would walk for miles at midnight to get to a river out in the wild, where a minister would await them and baptize them. To get to her own baptism it took her close to three hours of walking, hiding in shadows before she arrived to the designated spot. When she got there the minister was sleeping. She didn't want to wake him up so she let him sleep until dawn, telling herself that it was all in God's hands. Finally, she was so worried that the villagers or the militia would come to the river and find them there that she woke the minister up.

RevSharon said...

I don't remember being baptized as a tiny infant in my grandmother's Congregational Church, which then became the beloved church of my early childhood.

I do remember being required to be baptized again -- the "right" way, by immersion -- when I later wanted to join an otherwise liberal Baptist church. I am not a big fan of the re-baptism, whatever the reason.

Joan Calvin said...

When I was in seminary I did my clinical pastoral education at the Cleveland Clinic. A young woman was life flighted in. The husband grabbed me in a panic because he had no idea where she was. I found out which ICU she was in and then sat with the family for a while. I told them I would check back in from time to time. They never got to see her. After she had died, her mother asked me to baptize her and I did. Yes, I know. . .

steve said...

I remember with fondness my baptism when I was about 10 years old in that same baptismal as Becky. As I remember it, my main concern was not looking foolish - then as I was being immersed, I realized that I had not taken off my socks. But like all baptisms, it was a beginning of a journey. I did feel different somehow.

The day all 3 of our kids were baptized as we joined our UMC congregation was one of the happiest days of my life. I expected to be unable to read the vows from the baptismal covenant, but instead felt a great peace and assurance that lasted all afternoon, if not longer. It was truly a means of grace for all of us.

Cathy said...

I have memories of my baptism. I was 5 years old. My parents had just joined the Episcopal Church. I knew what was happening was very special and I felt special. Little did I know that I had been saved, I was being saved, and would continue to be saved for the rest of my life. It's a journey in which I continue to grow in Christ along with a community of believers.

Graceful said...

I feel badly that I was not a believer when my kids were baptised. I missed out on an incredible experience. In the last couple of years, though, I've witness the baptism of a close friend, and that of my nephew, and both times I was so immersed in the experience, it almost felt like I was being baptised myself. Both experiences were, in a way, a rebirth, from agnostic to believer, and both were incredibly meaningful experiences.

Now I'm going to go read about yours!

lynnmosher said...

Whenever the topic of baptism comes up, I always giggle. I remember one of our pastors doing a baptism at one of the services. I don't remember if the person was male or female or how old the person was.

The pastor, who also does a lot of weddings, started to repeat the words always said, "In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit." Instead, out come, "I now pronounce you..." uh-oh! ***pause*** The whole huge congregation started giggling.

I can't remember how he saved face but he did.

Laura said...

We've never been blessed to live close to family, so they often had to miss special occasions. How special it was when our 3rd boy was baptized at 8 years old in his grandparents' church!

Amy Sullivan said...

My husband baptized me a couple years after we were married in our church. I think it will always be a special memory of mine.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I was SO proud when my boys got baptized together this spring. It's such a powerful thing.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Ooh...Thanks to our internet problems, I'm sitting here at a coffee shop, soaking in these beautiful stories and trying to gulp back tears and look like I'm reading something ordinary. It's all extraordinary and extremely precious, and I'm grateful for your sharing. You've made my Saturday time with a peach tea feel like worship!

Kari said...

I have mixed emotions about my baptism, actually. Similar to what you said, I was the last one in my age group to be baptized, and for me that became a source of shame. Part of my story has been about growing out of some of those ideas of doing it wrong and learning, instead, to let my story with God be what it is, to find him where I am rather than looking at some sort of schedule or timeline. I hate to answer a blog post with a blog post, but I did write more about that here: http://throughaglass.net/archives/2010/02/14/streams-of-mercy-never-ceasing/

Leah Skaggs said...

Tomorrow - I baptize twins who have been visiting our church. They are nine and poor and precious. I want so much more for them than the life they are living - and yet I know that baptism is a beginning. I don't have any gold or silver - but I have this water and these people in our church - and this Jesus - and I guess that is going to be enough means of grace to see us all through. Water is a such a common thing... and yet tomorrow - it will connect me and our congregation to these boys forever. We will be marked. We will be family. God does uncommon things with common stuff and common people. Thanks be to God.

Connie Arnold said...

I was baptized by immersion as a child, and after marriage joined a church that baptize babies, where my children were baptized. Before my daughter got married, she and her husband were baptized together. That made me cry more than the wedding. The beginning of a beautiful life together in Christ, nothing more a mother could ask for her child!

Rebecca Ramsey said...

I'm SO thankful that the internet is back on, and I can pour over these stories for as long as I want!

Kari, your story over at your blog is beautiful and heart breaking. I'm so glad I read it. It really touched me.

And Leah, I was thinking about you and the twins yesterday morning. What a beautiful thing. You wrote about it so exquisitely. It must be really so special to be the one doing the baptizing.

Connie, I've never seen a baptism like that. Wow. I bet it's powerful. What a way to start a life together!

Beki - TheRustedChain said...

I was baptized as a kid, but when I was old enough to decide to do it. I remember it vividly!