on the eve of your baptism, dear daughter

Junia, my dear daughter, today is the eve of your baptism.

I am taking a moment to write to you and express a few thoughts before that big day, for your sake in the sense that you may someday find this old post and find some meaning in it, and for my sake as well as I process the profound experience I see tomorrow to be. I hope it’s okay with you that I’ve shared this broadly. I asked you about it recently and you didn’t seem to mind too much, and seemed more interested in your magnetic drawing pad at the time.

Your baptism, Junia, will be a beautiful experience. Whether or not it’s something that a person believes in to any degree, the aesthetics are superb: you, Junia, ushered into a particular community of faith, and we your family and church believing God will one day draw you into deep relationship, directing you to live out a fulfilling life with Jesus at the center, love as the functioning principle, all in an economy of grace that is freely given [though it was rather costly on the part of Jesus, who paid a whole lot to distribute that grace].

Perhaps you’ll cry during the baptism. Or maybe you will coo, mildly, at Pastor Karen as she marks you with ordinary water imbued with sacramental meaning as those of us looking on respond with some oos and aahs of our own. Hard to say how it will go, but this talk of water and faith makes think about my own baptism 20 years ago.

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