Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with and that we should no longer be slaves to sin.— Romans 6:3-6
Praise be to God.
Baptism- def. Ecclesiastical . a ceremonial immersion in water, or application of water, as an initiatory rite or sacrament of the Christian church.
Sacrament- def. Ecclesiastical . a visible sign of an inward grace, especially one of the solemn Christian rites considered to have been instituted by Jesus Christ to symbolize or confer grace
Grace- def. Theology a. the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God
b. the influence or spirit of God operating in humans to regenerate or strengthen them.
It was a sunny, breezy 65 degrees in a very large garden. Green grass, blue sky and trees full of spring’s silent work framed a space perfect for a Palm Sunday baptism. In its own wondrous way, nature sang the very glory of God.
Brighton’s decision on January 16th led to this initial step of obedience to Christ and his mysterious identification with His death, burial and resurrection. Sunday, as we remembered Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and His knowing what His week held yet choosing obedience to the Father, I will remember B’s choice of obedience and will cling to the grace that covers him- “the influence or spirit of God operating in [Brighton] to regenerate or strengthen [him]”. He’s seven. By His grace, there are lots of years for regeneration and strengthening. Lots of years for failing and forgiveness and just as many for successes and praises. I don’t know the plans that God has for him, but His Word tells me they are to prosper him and to give him hope. I choose hope.
Hope- def. A desire of some good, accompanied with an expectation of obtaining it, or a belief that it is obtainable; an expectation of something which is thought to be desirable; confidence; pleasing expectancy.
I will choose to believe that when the hand of godly authority is extended to him, he will kiss it and not scorn it.
I will choose to believe that God’s work will be brought to completion in Brighton-- through the years that make him the man God created him to be.
I will choose to believe that, when it matters, he will not depart from the path of righteousness that broke forth like the dawn on January 16th and that it will shine ever brighter until the FULL LIGHT of DAY. Brighton’s day, whenever that may be.
Friends of all ages came to celebrate with Brighton and we were blessed to have family who made the thousand mile trip to join us. If Brighton could plan his days, all of them would be like this past Palm Sunday--his favorite people around (the more the better), large slices of cake, freedom to run around outside and feeling affirmed in his choices by those who love him. It didn’t hurt that there were a few (unnecessary but appreciated) gifts and plenty of extra attention.
This is it. This is the big stuff..... worthy of celebration. His life one day at a time. One act of obedience, the sacrament of baptism, undeniably changing his life forever.
A new life, no longer a slave to sin.
The unmerited favor and love of God.
All praise, glory and honor to Him. The Lord of Glory.
The King of All.
The King of All.