The kids were home today from school for a teacher work day. I had planned to send some things in the mail and to get some things in the mail . . . like maybe a copy of my diploma and transcripts from Biola. I waited and waited, getting more and more anxious by the minute, when I checked my calendar. It's Columbus Day observed today. A postal holiday. Gurrrr. What business did Columbus have forging a path to a new continent when I've got a job to get!
On brighter news, Kylie asked for the 100th time when she could get baptized. I'd been putting her off in the interest of having her gain more maturity. I wanted her to remember that important day of identification with Christ. Then, Kade piped up, "I want to be baptized, too, Mommy! Please, can I get baptized?!"
I gulped, "Well, we'll talk to Daddy about it when we get home, okay. But first I have some questions for you. What does it mean to get baptized?"
"That we love God!" announces Kylie.
"Yes, that's definitely part of it.
"That 'Jesus is Lord'," says Kade, remembering what each person says before they're dunked.
"Yes," I say, "But what does it mean? Why do we go under the water? What does it symbolize?"
They were stumped.
I try to pull out an answer, "When Jesus died, He was in the tomb for . . . . " waiting for an answer.
I let out a sigh of relief. At least I haven't TOTALLY failed as a Bible teacher.
"And then, what happened to Jesus?"
"He rose from the dead!" they both proclaim.
"That's right. So when we're baptized, we're saying that we have new life in Jesus. We are buried in the water and then we rise up out of the water in new life."
"That's what the pastor says after the baptism!" says Kade with his usual enthusiasm, "Whew! now I know what baptism means!"
So, Keith, who does not worry about such things as kids being too young to understand or remember, but just takes each step of faith for what it is, immediately told them both that, of course, they could be baptized!
We took them up to the front of the church at the end of the service yesterday, as is the tradition of the Southern Baptists, and the kids made their official proclamation of faith. Then, church members stood in a big long line to shake their hands along with Keith and me in celebration of their decisions. It was touching to see the joyful support of our church family.
As I shook hands, I realized that Kade is the same age as Keri Lynn was when she got baptized. Seven. But Keri Lynn seemed so much older to me! However, that made me feel better about the two young ones being baptized. They get baptized next week. We wish all of our family and friends could come to join in our celebration as well, but we know you will be there in spirit.