At church yesterday, there was a baptism and, after it had been done, we sang this hymn, which to me summed up how faithful God is and how He will be there for us
(and had been with me) from the beginning until the end – regardless of what happens in the middle.
The vicar emphasised the importance of this ritual; that it’s not just about dressing up for the day and having a family party, although that bit is nice too! He talked of baptism symbolising submerging ourselves in Jesus and that, while we use only a small amount of holy water on our heads rather than full submersion, this doesn’t mean we only have a small amount of Jesus in our lives. We can have as much of Him as we like, and ideally all of Him.
This year, we’ll be baptising our new baby along with our two other children. Abi had been baptised on her death-bed, and it was so very important to us then.
I was not baptised until I was 12, when I was also confirmed, this was all my choice, and when we had children we felt we should give them that freedom of choice. I take the decision seriously and didn’t want to organise a baptism just because it was the ‘done thing’. When Abi died, her being baptised became very important. I’d wished we’d done it as a baby. I don’t believe that without it she wouldn’t go to heaven or anything, but baptism is a way of recognising that Jesus is part of our lives.
We’ve discussed it with them and they are both keen. When I explained to them about why people are baptised, my son simply said: ‘Well I love God so I want to be baptised.’ And that is all that matters! Except this time, it will be done under happier circumstances and we’ll make a really special day for them. A celebration in faith.
This is the hymn. I was going to share it yesterday while the feeling was still fresh, but I decided to do it today, to continue that feeling on a Monday, to keep the song alive in my mind.
Great Your faithfulness
O God my Father
O God my friend
Your love it never fades
And so I’ll love You until the end
When shadows fall
You never change
From age to age
You never change
Great is Your faithfulness Your faithfulness
Through the years You’ve always been there
Great is Your love for us Your love for us
Through the years You’ll always be there
Great Your kindness God
You are our shelter our dwelling place
Your presence like a fire
Hope for tomorrow strength for today
We will stand we will stand upon Your promises
We are strong we are strong
Because our hope is in You
We will run we will run we will run
We belong we belong we belong to You to You