Thinking about baptism?

A story:  There’s a moment in one of the stories about Jesus, where some parents bring their children to him. His friends and followers think that Jesus has more important things to do than to respond to a child. But Jesus insists that the children are brought to him. He goes on to use a child as an object lesson, and explains that every child has the power to show adults how to relate to God.

We could talk about the details of what he means sometime.

As the parents bring their children to Jesus, back in the story, it’s not quite clear what they want from him, or why they are bringing their children to him.

And this is often a good place for us to start a conversation about baptism.

For some parents, it’s been hard to conceive, and they’re glad to say thank you. For other parents, either the child or the mother has had a hard time during labour or later, and there’s a profound sense of gratitude that it feels natural to express in this way. For others, a committed Christian faith has been part of life for a number of years, so it feels right to bring their child into the family of God, in response to the promises of God.

A starting point:  Every set of parents starts from a slightly different point as they approach the Risen Christ with one of their children in their arms. The first thing for us to establish, by meeting up, is where you are starting from as you consider the baptism of your child. For some families, a prayer together at home is in fact the most appropriate response to the situation, for others a thank you ceremony at one of our services, and for others baptism is the best option.

A weekly shape:  And wherever we may start, we don’t have to make up Christianity as we go along, the Christian life has an established shape, and God has chosen the shape for us. There’s a weekly rhythm to Christian faith that involves meeting with God’s family Sunday by Sunday.  

A next step:  If this would be a new shape for your life together as a family, and a new way to spend time on a Sunday, then I suggest you try it out for a few Sundays, and get some momentum going, to see how God’s pattern for living fits, and meets our deepest needs.

At St Andrew’s the pattern of services is as flexible as we can make it, there is a service at 10.45 am with Sunday groups.

We gather from 6 pm for refreshments, with our service beginning at 6.30 pm and finishing before 7.30 pm. There is always a short, very accessible talk, of about ten minutes. Sometimes there’s time to discuss something or ask questions. The third week of every month is Songs of Praise where we sing old favourites and introduce some new songs. Check the website before turning up.

We look forward to welcoming you.

Image: by Kenny Louie from Vancouver, Canada (Hah!  Uploaded by russavia) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons