Christian Family

An open letter to my goddaughter on her baptism day

I’m sure this is not what your mom and dad imagined when they scheduled your baptism day.

I’m sure they didn’t imagine that there would be panic and anxiety over a virus. I’m sure they didn’t imagine that large gatherings, including church, would be discouraged. I’m sure they didn’t imagine that family members would actually avoid the baptism for fear of germs and death.

I’m certain they wanted to celebrate this day with everyone–their family and also their friends from church. I’m certain they wanted you to be surrounded by those who love you, including two of you great-grandmothers, who are still living.

Things don’t always work out as we expect and this coronavirus was something we never saw coming.

But at the end of the day, you’ll be baptized. You will be covered in God’s grace. You will be washed in His salvation. You will be a child of God. And really, that’s all that matters.

Baby girl, there is so much fear in the world right now. Whether justified or not, this fear and anxiety has gripped the world and caused many to close their literal and figurative doors. So really, what we all needed in this moment was your baptism.

Through that church service and that moment when the pastor dripped that water over your head, that moment you became a child of God, we were reminded that we, too, are children of God. And it’s because of that everything else is just noise.

Despite the fear surrounding the virus, the throngs of people hoarding toilet paper, the apprehension about what comes next–through your baptism, we are reminded that God’s control.

Here is what we know and what I want you to know:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 

Philippians 4:6-7

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. 

1 Peter 5:7

But now, this is what the Lord says…Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”

Isaiah 43:1

It’s incredibly applicable today, on your baptism day, as the world around us lives on the edge. It’ll be applicable next year when you are walking. It’ll be applicable on your first day of school. It’ll apply when you learn to drive. It’ll apply when you go off to college. It’ll apply the day that you stand in the church with your child and wash them in the water of God’s saving grace.

And while not everyone was able to be there. While things possibly didn’t go the way we all assumed they would go, your day was special. Today, people found words of encouragement in the words of your pastor. Today, people found hope that there is the promise of God. Today, people rejoiced because you were baptized. Today, we saw God working in you and also through you.

No matter who was sitting in the pews or who had to watch it over the Internet, we are all here to support you, baby girl. On the days when you are out of hope, or feel down, or face challenges or need reassurance–those of us around you are going to be here to remind you of the words of your baptism, the peace of the Lord and the work that He can do in your life. We will pray over you, just as we did today. We will pour our love into you and remind you that you are a child of God.

Love,

Aunt Rebecca

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