Monday, December 6, 2010

Cruz's Baptism Day

Where you go, I'll go,
Where you stay, I'll stay,
When you move, I'll move,
I will follow you.

One of the many reasons I love going to Orchard Hill Church is the new perspective I seem to gain after each service.  The perspective that leaves us thinking, questioning, and reworking past assumptions and preconceptions well into the parking lot and car ride home.  I've heard the Christmas story so many times and over the years, I've listened to numerous pastors and teachers share their perspectives on it.  But today, Pastor Tim taught about Mary, the mother of Jesus, and I don't think I'll ever see her in the same light again.  No longer will I envision the royal figure often depicted in pictures, the beautifully dressed, well fed, angel face, contentedly relaxing by a well-kept, clean manger.  Mary was likely very young, probably an early teen at best, from a poor, rural, but hardworking family in Nazareth.  Mary was young, innocent, and likely no near ready to mother a baby. 

Especially this baby. 

God rocked her world with the news that she would carry his son, the One who would later die for her, as well as nations of people and generations to come.  And although the drastic change he placed upon her seems incomprehensible to us, there's a part of it that also remains so earthly, so realistic.  Mary was simple, normal, human.  Mary was like any one of us and just like her world changed forever with the news of Jesus, God has the power to do the same to us.  To change us, mold us, and make us part of His plan.  And whatever this plan involves, it is our job to be like Mary, to question, but accept, to follow, to praise, and to have faith.  

Never before has Mary seemed so human, so real to me.  She is an incredible example of a mother, and an incredible example of a believer.  She remained true when her reputation was at stake, when her plans failed to follow her path, and when the impossible seemed possible.  This sermon hit home for me in many ways, especially on Cruz's baptism day.

Yesterday was such a special day.  Holding a baby so close at Christmas time is a constant reminder of the miracle of what we celebrate this time of year.  How perfect of God to choose a sweet, innocent little baby to change our world forever.  

I think the holy water has something in it.  I say this because never before has Cruz slept soundly in church!  It was as if he knew it was a special day for him, knew his family was there to watch him, knew he was on stage in front of 500 plus people.  He was an angel baby.  Dressed in a simple white Gap sleeper, he was wide awake for the baptism, but slept through the rest of the service.  He stared peacefully as the pastor patted the water on his forehead, and fell asleep with his little fist up by his cheek, as if pondering the act himself.  

After church, we had a small reception at our house.  The menu included lasagna and garlic bread, a green salad with cranberries, a jello salad with cranberries, and punch with cranberries (I guess I didn't realize I had a theme going).  I decorated the table with Christmas trees and candles, a wrapping paper table runner, and lots of sweets.  And of course, the table would not be complete without twenty-eight cake balls, created and perfected for the second time around.  

Cruz enjoyed the attention and continued to sleep for a good portion of the day.  He spent some time hanging out with Charly, showed his family his little smile, and enjoyed watching us open a few gifts for him.  Once again, as I watched everyone congregate around Cruz and Charly, I wondered what our families did before babies.

I didn't expect Cruz's baptism to resonate with me as it did.  The message of this time of year, of the true meaning of Christmas.  And the example of Mary, as a mother, and as a faithful believer of Christ.  I pray that Cruz will grow up to be a believer like her, to remain faithful always, and to believe in the promise of God's plan.   

All your ways are good,
All your ways are sure,
I will trust in You alone.
Higher than my side,
High above my life,
I will trust in you alone.   


1 comment:

  1. Ashley, you look great! And, Cruz is adorable =)



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