This Sunday, for the first time, we will celebrate a baptism at Church of the Cross. This will be an exciting day! It is my hope that it is the first of many to come in our life together.
Baptism is a sacrament rich with meaning and significance for the life of the church. When we baptize and are baptized, we are following the command and example of Jesus, who himself was baptized in the Jordan River and commanded his followers to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19). Baptism is a part of making disciples; it is a part of following Jesus on the way of the cross.
At Pentecost, when Peter preached to the crowd he called them to repent and be baptized (Acts 2:38). Repentance and baptism go together. As Anglicans, we baptize infants as a sign of their place among God’s people and in hope and expectation that they will grow to receive their baptism rightly, turning from sin in repentance and turning toward Christ in faith. As our catechism puts it:
Why is it appropriate to baptize infants? (108)
Because it is a sign of God’s promise that they are embraced in the covenant community of Christ’s Church. Those who in faith and repentance present infants to be baptized vow to raise them in the knowledge and fear of the Lord, with the expectation that they will one day profess full Christian faith as their own.
This Sunday, we have the opportunity to celebrate and participate in COTC’s first baptism! We will commit ourselves, as a church family, to do all we can to support the newly baptized in following Christ. We will also have the opportunity, if we’re already baptized, to renew our own commitment to follow Jesus on the way of the cross. I hope you can join us for this exciting moment!