There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.
The more we talk about baptism the more I recognize the truth of Paul’s statement that there is “one baptism”. There is not the difference between infant baptism and “believers” baptism that has been a dividing line in the church since the Reformation. There is one baptism that recognizes the call of grace on all our lives – those born into the covenant family and those who experience conversion at a later stage in their lives.
This Sunday that will be on display at HRC. This is one of the reasons that I love this place so much; we extend a “radical welcome” that draws people from all types of different backgrounds. Ty and Wil Fulton, young boys who love Jesus and want to celebrate their part in the family of God, will be baptized in the creek at the conclusion of the first service. Ty and Wil come from a Baptist background where they were dedicated, but they have come to the point that John and Angela (their parents) sense they are ready and desiring of baptism.
Krista Blome, who is a new member to the church, discovered in discussion about membership that she had never been baptized. She grew up in a church, the Evangelical Free Church, where they baptized believers, but she never took that step herself. Engaged and involved with the church and Christ all her life, she recognizes that baptism is an important part of celebrating that journey. Her daughter Maddy is an infant and Krista and Maddy will be baptized inside at the baptismal fount in a more traditional way (at least for Hopewell).
It will be a day when all the variations on the single theme of baptism will be displayed at our church, but the truth of one Lord, one faith, one baptism will be at the core. As a caveat to what God is doing at Hopewell, I have been approached by people who feel they are just discovering Christ for the first time even though they were baptized as an infant or some other way. As a sign of their new relationship, they would love to be baptized again in a way that means something to them. I certainly understand this sentiment and we can all celebrate what God is doing in their lives. I hope we can be intentional about helping people celebrate the claiming of their baptismal vows for themselves, recognizing that God has been working in their lives even before they were aware of Him. Stay tuned, I believe this will be a powerful service of celebration of what God is doing in the lives of individuals and in the life of Hopewell.
Yours in the One Calling,