On Sunday mornings, families are often separated at church, attending classes geared for their various ages and stages of life. But on Stonebriar Family Experience nights, the entire family—from nursing babies to those in the nursing home—come together to worship. Family Experience events typically include a time of worship, a lesson from a pastor, and a fun project or fellowship activity (with food, of course). On some occasions, there is also a special baptism ceremony. There is something incredibly powerful about gathering around a meal, spending time with others, and, as a church body, celebrating those who are now part of your adopted, chosen, and beautiful extended family tree.
Therefore we have been buried with him through baptism into death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too may live a new life. (Romans 6:4)
As we share our faith with our children, baptism is a natural topic we speak of often. Most certainly, the younger ones are incredibly curious to see what baptism physically looks like. It’s important to recognize that as a body of believers, we all come from a variety of backgrounds and denominational flavors. To think everyone, even adults, have witnessed others being baptized may be an inaccurate assumption. I was personally “sprinkled” as an infant and then made the decision to be “dunked” (baptized by immersion) at the age of seventeen. Now, I was not baptized a second time because I had just come to faith in Christ. Rather, I did it as a public profession of my personal love for Jesus.
When I was an infant, my parents stood before God and our local church body to affirm that I would be raised in the Christian faith and I was baptized in that denomination. Some 30 years later, I stood in front of the congregation at Stonebriar Community Church—not once, but three times—to dedicate my own infants in front of our church community with the same profession my parents made—to raise my children in the Christian faith. While the act of dedication is incredibly meaningful, it, like baptism, does not save. And salvation changes everything for all eternity. I pray for my children to come to know the Lord at an early age and to love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. I long for them to grow in wisdom and stature before God and man.
Jesus replied, This is the most important: “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is One Lord, and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:29)