Friday, June 14, 2013

What is Baptism?


My husband and I try to read a little Bible story to the boys in the morning while they eat their breakfast.  Because we started off this practice knowing only about Adam, Eve, and Noah, the preschool version of the Bible has been an excellent choice for the whole family.  Today, our story was about Jesus getting baptized and it opened my son's eyes.


In our church, we believe in baptism through immersion.  There is a large tub at the front of the sanctuary and, when someone is baptized, our pastor dips them backwards into the pool of water then brings them back up.  This is done to represent the washing away of sins and the resurrection of the person being baptized.  When the tub is filled up, my sons are always fascinated.  "Can I jump in?!" my oldest will shout.  "In!  Jump!  Me!" my little one will say.  I explain to them that it is only for baptisms and we can't play in there.  Once I try to explain the symbolism of baptism, I completely lose their interest and they move on to something else they shouldn't be touching.

As I read the story of Jesus being baptized, I saw my son's face lighting up with a smile.  When it was over he said, "Mommy, thank you so much for reading that.  I always thought that when I got baptized I would have to go swimming with Pastor David in the tub and swim all the way to the bottom.  I thought we would have  lots and lots of toys and have to swim to get them.  Now I know you just go under that one time and you don't even have to swim!"  Amazing what a little information can do.

Assumptions can get all of us sometimes.  For a four year old, it was perfectly logical to see that tub as a pool.  It made all the sense in the world to think of baptism as some kind of game or competition.  But with a bit more information from a source that interested him, he got it.  I wonder how often we, as adults, assume things with just a tiny bit of information.  It's up to us to dig a little deeper to truly understand something before we decide if it's good or bad, worth it or worthless.  If we do, our children will too.

1 comment:

  1. It was just a cup of water when my boys were baptized (they were baptized Episcopalian :) Kids are cute on how they interpret things!

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