“I already know I’m a child of God so why do you have to make my head all wet?”

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The Blalock family

But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name; you are mine. – Psalm 43

“I already know I’m a child of God so why do you have to make my head all wet?”

IMG_1996I love baptisms. No matter the age – infant or adult – there’s always a deep emotional resonance, and a profound sense of purposeful community that permeates the church. 

Sunday morning in early worship (and 9:00 has been getting most of the action lately) one of our families presented their four-year-old for baptism. I love what the child said to Rebekah when they were talking about it ahead of time. “I already know I’m a child of God… so why do you have to make my head all wet?”

It’s a great question! Baptism is very important, but it’s God’s mercy and grace that saves us! I believe it’s a terrible misrepresentation of God to tell anyone that a child’s eternal destiny is determined by a symbolic sprinkling and the right magic words.

Baptism doesn’t save anybody, and we don’t do anything – can’t do anything – to earn God’s generous love; instead it’s God’s initiative, God’s great love, and Christ’s redemptive work that has opened the way for us to respond to this invitation to live! Baptism is a sign and a seal of the New Covenant, an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual truth.

FOLLOWING JESUS: Just like communion, baptism is something Jesus instructed us to do. The answer to the four-year-old’s question is, “You need to get your head all wet because Jesus said we are to baptize. And we needed to get your head all wet for us too – because we are your church, and we need a constant reminder of the promises we make on your behalf.”

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The gift of God’s word….

“Look at all these people,” Rebekah says, gesturing to a couple of hundred smiling Presbyterians, “they are your brothers and sisters! They have promised to raise you in the faith, to love you unconditionally, and to support your parents in every way.”

And we all feel the emotional pull of our own baptisms, and some of us cry; because when a family stands in front of the church to make promises, and the water of baptism flows, and the presence of God is so clearly articulated in that moment, and the entire room is charged with the Spirit, then we realize more than ever what a church is, and what is truly important, and why we gather together, and surely the presence of the Lord is in this place….

“But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name; you are mine.”

Blessed to serve God at Wake Forest Presbyterian Church – DEREK

faith message photogrpahy The Church

derekmaul View All →

Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there's always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor's degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men's Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

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