BAPTISM: One of life’s great opportunities….
Thank you for turning to this page!
If you are thinking about whether baptism is a right opportunity to offer your child, or if you are an adult who is thinking about this gift for yourself, this page introduces something of the meaning of baptism as the Church understands it.
Of course perhaps the best way to explore whether this gift is right for you or not, is to talk to one of the parish ministry team about it. Why not contact Bishop Lindsay who will be happy to discuss it with you. The decision whether to go ahead will of course be yours…
Another way, would be to just turn up at 10 am on a Sunday morning to experience our worship. You will be very welcome.
Bishop Lindsay begins to introduce the meaning of baptism…
Baptism is one of the great turning points in a person’s life!
The Scriptures speak of it as a ‘new birth’. It’s as if we are born again.
What does that mean? Where does the new life come from? Or more accurately, whose life is the ‘new’ life? Can another life really be added to our own?
The answer to the first question is : the life of Jesus
The answer to the second is : Yes. In a different, but not entirely different way, we add people to our lives all the time. If you have another person that you have let into your heart, let ‘get under your skin’, have someone you can’t imagine living without, then you know what I mean.
We teach that our life is a gift from God from the moment of our conception. Our parents are of course the immediate givers of life, but in the ‘distance’ is the One who is the source of all life. The Bible begins with the words : ‘In the beginning, God…’ Sometimes, and often as the child is born, parents are acutely aware of this mystery. How can we have done such a great thing? Isn’t this bigger than we are?
When parents feel a great joy when their child is born, they are experiencing something of what God feels in the ‘distance’.
Sadly, it sometimes happens that a child is born and there is little joy around, but God feels more joy than we can imagine. Jesus teaches us to regard him and to call him ‘Our Father’. So in every pregnancy we can say there are two expectant fathers!
A time limited gift…
Fact is, the life our natural parents give to us is time limited. It’s a great and wonderful gift, but it will end at some stage or another through the frailty of death. We are mortals.
The big question (though somehow we are not so good at addressing the big questions!) that has intrigued, even tormented we mortals is whether there is more to life than birth to death. It’s a wondering that seems to be as universal as it is ancient, and however sophisticated twenty first century western people regard themselves, it clings close. We have this inkling, maybe even instinct that we’re made for more than birth, get what you can get and give what you can give, and then we die. We are too significant to end in this way!
Christians believe that that inkling is a right one.
We are made for more!
This is at the heart of the teaching of Jesus. And it is at the heart of the offer Jesus makes to us all. A share in his life, and his life is eternal life…
If you’d like to carry on the conversation about Jesus and baptism, contact Bishop Lindsay on the number or email above.
But here are some of the Practicalities:
BAPTISMS at Christ Church generally take place during the 10 am service on Sunday mornings when the Christian community at Christ Church has its main meeting.
It happens then because the Bible teaches that baptism is not simply about the individual person and their relationship with the Lord, but also about being joined into a relationship with everyone else who has been baptised. Put simply, though you can kick a footy around in the backyard on your own, to play the game you need to join a team. Actually it’s probably a team that’s inspired you to kick the footy around in the first place. The individual and the team both need each other.
The members of the congregation will be delighted that a baptism is taking place, because they know that their Lord is delighted. And they will be glad to meet you because they will see you as a gift from the Lord. They believe that your desire to come for baptism is a sign that God is blessing you and them.
The date of the baptism is agreed with Bishop Lindsay, the parish priest.
The best preparation for baptism is the experience of worship.