Friday, March 1, 2013

Eleanor's Baptism

Sunday was a very special day for us! It was the day our baby girl was baptized.

February 24, 2013

What is baptism?  Baptism is a sacrament, a holy sign and seal of the Covenant of Grace- of our engrafting into Christ.  It is also a sign of our need to yield to God through Jesus Christ so we can walk in newness of life.  Baptism is the act by which a person is solemnly admitted into the visible Church.  It is not required for salvation, however.  Some who are baptized will be lost and some who are baptized will be saved. 

Why did we choose to baptize Eleanor? God promises to bless his people through this sacrament.  Her baptism confirms our position with and in Christ and demonstrates to the world our intentions to raise Eleanor in our faith.  During her baptism we took vows indicating our commitment to raise Eleanor in the loving discipline of the Lord.  Our church also took a vow committing to provide nurture, support, and to be a godly example.  Together we will encourage her growth in grace until Eleanor claims Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Savior.
During the service we had to answer some pretty tough questions before the church:
  1. Do you acknowledge Eleanor's need of the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ, and the renewing grace of the Holy Spirit?
  2. Do you claim God’s covenant promises and benefits for Eleanor and by faith do you look to the Lord Jesus Christ for the salvation of your child as you do your own?
  3. Do you now unreservedly dedicate your child to God, and do you promise by relying on God’s power and grace through the Holy Spirit to live an exemplary life before your child?
  4. Do you commit yourself to pray with and for your child, to teach your child the Scriptures and the great articles of our faith in Jesus Christ?
  5. Do you promise to use every means provided by God, including faithful participation in the life of the Church, to bring your child up in the loving discipline of the Lord? 
These questions are easy to answer yes to, but will likely be difficult to continue to live out in every day life.  We promised to live an exemplary life before Eleanor!  That is daunting and convicts me each and every day.  Am I being the best possible person?  Am I making an example that I want my daughter to see and learn from? 
After answering YES! to all the above questions, our church was also challenged.  Shannon read the following questions:
  1. Do you, the members of this congregation, acting for yourselves and in behalf of the whole Body of Christ, assume responsibility with these parents for the spiritual nurture of this child? 
  2. Do you commit yourself to set a godly example before this child, to provide as far as you are able, all that is necessary to the end that this child may one day confess Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord? 
When the congregation had agreed to those statements, Doug came forward to baptize Eleanor.
He drenched her and Alex quickly came in with the blanket.
She wasn't happy and cried a little.  The pacifier worked well to quiet her down immediately.   
Then Doug and Rosemary invited all the children of our church forward to pray over Eleanor.  This was absolutely the sweetest moment.
Our church is intimate.  They are family to us.  It was amazing to be surrounded by all of our beautiful friends on this special day.  I am so thankful for the part they play in our lives and the part they already do and will play in Eleanor's.  With their help, I am confident that she will learn to love Christ and follow him.  
The rest of the service was fitting.  Doug spoke on (you guessed it!) Truth, describing why we believe what we do.  I couldn't be more certain that we are following God's will for our lives, and now Eleanor's as we fully embrace Jesus Christ as our Savior and acknowledge his truths.  I feel immensely blessed and full of God's grace and mercy to be living such an abundant life, full of love, hope and joy.  I am excited to raise Eleanor in this way and teach her the joy of following Christ as her savior!  

A big special thanks to Whitney for the photography!

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