A Letter to my Girls on Baptism

Here we are today.  We collected special dresses and invited people we love. Today, Pastor Jeff lifted water from the font and poured it over your head one,  two,  three times. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

I was 15 when I was baptized. Your dad was an even bigger person than that.  I won’t speak for him,  but I thought that it was a sort of climax to my faith. Like I was finally good enough to make a public proclamation about who I was and whose I was. Don’t get me wrong…I loved Jesus, but deep down, I thought it was an awful lot about me.  It was like a check mark on being a good enough Christian. Or sure enough about being a Christian. It was a big decision and I put it off until I felt like I was grown enough to make it.

But here’s the secret: if we wait until we’re grown enough, we would never be baptized. For the very next day, we find Jesus bigger than we did before. And so, even though I didn’t understand what baptism was when I did it, I have begun growing into my baptism as I pray you will grow into yours.

It’s the way we all come to baptism, really. The way we will always come to it. Whether we enter the water as a baby or as bigger person, we come with an incomplete understanding and with trembling steps, rejoicing that the God of the Universe has loved us first. Called us first. Moved towards us first. We can never arrive at a place where we deserve to be baptized. It is always a grace, always a gift, always “too big” for us. We all will spend the rest of our lives growing into our baptisms.

And so, there we stood today, washing you in baptismal waters before you are even old enough to try to claim them for yourself.  It wasn’t a rash decision or one we were coerced into. It has been a decision born of prayer and study and concentration. Of growing and changing and finding Jesus bigger. Of community.

Here’s why we did it: You don’t have to believe the right things about God for them to be true. It is certainly our prayer that you would come to know and love the Lord early and deeply, that you would live a life submitted to Jesus the King. But even if you don’t, that doesn’t change the fact that God still has moved towards you.  Jesus is still the king over you, whether you acknowledge that or not. This is God’s world.  And he has set you in a family that is a part of his people. You are a part of his people.

And so, dear girls, every day that you take a bath, when you look out the window at a rainy day, when you first open your eyes in the morning, remember your baptism. You have been called and marked and set aside as the chosen and dearly loved people of the eternal King. He is guarding an inheritance for you in heaven. Baptism is a seal of this promise: a way God’s grace comes to you.  Something for you to look at and remember, that regardless of the aches you know in this life, Jesus will never stop giving you himself. 

 Remember your baptism, live into its truth:  You are held and washed clean and made new by the Grace of the God who loves you. He has already done the work. He has moved towards you, he is making everything right. Join him.


2 thoughts on “A Letter to my Girls on Baptism

  1. This is beautifully said. And as we were a witness to your baptism we were equally blessed to have witnessed our great grands as well.

  2. Lindsey, I love everything about this. You’ve articulated so well my heart for our girls and our reason for baptizing them before they could choose for themselves. Thanks for this beautiful post – what a treasure for your sweet girls as they grow 🙂

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