I love Sundays. I go to the early service, play with kids in kids church, have a few hours to myself, then have girls night. It’s my favorite day of the week.
Today the schedule was a bit different. I went to church, but it was the late service because today was baby dedication Sunday for B, NoMH, and their five-month old baby. Her parents were here, his mom and brother were here, and our Sunday night third was there–with her entire family. Her husband and two kids, aged 4 and almost 6.
Last week C and her family started going to church themselves. Raised Catholic, she and her husband haven’t been much since they got married six years ago. Last week they went for the first time in ages to a local church, and enjoyed it. They went again for Ash Wednesday, and then to the early service this morning. Then instead of just C showing up for baby dedication the entire family came. Normally, I’d be thrilled. Today was another story, however.
Due to the snow and the poor weather what is normally a two-week missions focus has been extended quite a bit longer. The final week of the missions conference was today. Which means there were some questions when C and her family arrived at church. Her husband said it looked like we were at some weird Jesus Freak convention because of the bunting and the flags everywhere. Once I explained the reason for the ‘decorations’ they felt a bit better. They (well, the girls) enjoyed all the music and thought that it was fun (the oldest even called her church boring). They enjoyed the dedication, and more singing. The oldest girl cracked me up–the last song or two I was holding my Not-Nephew and she reached over and crossed him like she had recently been taught at mass. It was so stinkin’ cute.
Then we had the sermon.
For years C has heard B and I talk about our church, and since B and I can no longer go to the same service discussing our thoughts on the sermon that we had that morning. And today, the day we were able to have her visit, the first words out of the preaching pastor this morning were, “I don’t have a regular sermon, today, I hope you don’t mind, I’m just going to cover a few things”. Or something along those lines. He is getting ready to go to the Philippines with his wife to serve as a missionary. His ‘sermon’ this morning was rather rambling, didn’t have much of a ‘good for your life’ kind of point, and was basically an illustration of how giving money to the Faith Promise program is a good thing.
Of all the days for our friends to come for the first time, they get a ‘please give us money’ kind of sermon. At least it was a ‘give money to help us help others’ kind of sermon, not a ‘give us money so we can do for us’ kind of sermon. Still, it’s almost as if we have to do damage control to convince them that this is not the kind of speech we get on a regular basis.
All in all, though, it was a good day. As I had to explain to C, it’s not an occasion where the child is baptised into the Kingdom of God. We do not subscribe to that theory–we believe that more than anything else it is a public declaration that the parents will raise the child in a way that teaches the child about God and Jesus Christ, and that the parents are now accountable to the congregation to do so.
So congratulations to B and NoMH, in that they made it through today. In that they are committed to raising their child to know the teachings of Jesus Christ. And in that they are committed to do the same thing in their own lives to enrich each other and their family as it continues to grow.
I love you guys!