Thursday, August 20, 2009

A NEW BROTHER IN CHRIST

Not only was last weekend the fourth birthday of the Patmos House parish community; I also had the great joy of baptizing Quinton & Debbie Olkers' new baby, Joshua Luke. Joshua's big brother is Caleb. You'll understand the reality of this family's faith if you go to the Bible and read the story of Caleb and Joshua, the two spies who were prepared to trust the promises of God. (Numbers 13-14 and Joshua 14)

After his baptism . . . Joshua Luke, his parents Quinton and Debbie, and big brother Caleb

Baptism - the Commission of Jesus to his Church:
" . . . Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age." Matthew 28:19-20

Baptism - the teaching of St Paul:
"Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life." Romans 6:3-4

". . . you have come to fulness of life in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. . . you were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead . . . God made alive together with him . . ." Colossians 2:11-13

To the newly baptized - the teaching of St Peter:
"You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. Once you were no people but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy but now you have received mercy." 1 Peter 2:9-10

Finally - the summing up of a great Church Father:
"Baptism is God's most beautiful and magnificent gift . . . We call it gift, grace, anointing, enlightenment, garment of immortality, bath of rebirth, seal, and most precious gift. It is called GIFT because it is conferred on those who bring nothing of their own; GRACE since it is given to the guilty; BAPTISM because sin is buried in the water; ANOINTING for it is priestly and royal as are those who are anointed; ENLIGHTENMENT because it radiates light; CLOTHING since it veils our shame; BATH because it washes; and SEAL as it is our guard and the sign of God's Lordship." St. Gregory of Nazianzus (329-389AD)



1 comments:

Father Ed Bakker.SSM said...

From us here, welcome to the new Brother in Christ , Blessings him and his family.

With love in Christ,

Father Ed Bakker.SSM
Saint Stephens TAC Mission
TAC New Zealand

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