Sunday, October 02, 2011

For my godson

Tomorrow, Benedict John Timothy, you will be baptised by your godmother at church in the valley, where your father is a curate.
His will be the words we will hear then...but I wanted to record here how significant your Baptism is, not just to me but to the whole church community here.

The joy of welcoming you into the family of the church is tremendous.
So often, I baptise babies, knowing that it is unlikely that I'll see them again for a good long while....and the precious, beloved god-children I've been trusted with up til now have mostly lived too far away for me to see much of their growth in life or faith.

Benedict, by God's grace, for you it will be different.
Before you were born, we prayed for you and I blessed you in the womb, asking God to bring you safely and smoothly into the world.
Since your birth, you've been with us for worship week by week.
We've watched you become ever more responsive, so that last week at Messy Church your presence alone would have kept the teenaged girls content and engaged all afternoon.
Tomorrow, I will ask the congregation
"People of God, will you welcome Benedict, and support him in his new life in Christ"
knowing that there is a real possibility that we will be able to do just pray for you, to take you for walks when you need to be rocked, to play with you as you turn from baby to toddler, to little boy...

The liturgy tomorrow says all that we will need, but your namesake, Benedict wrote not just a Rule that has influenced countless men and women through the centuries, but a prayer that could hardly be better for you as you begin your journey in faith.
I'm praying it for you tonight

Gracious and holy Father,
please give me:
intellect to understand you;
reason to discern you;
diligence to seek you;
wisdom to find you;
a spirit to know you;
a heart to meditate upon you;
ears to hear you;
eyes to see you;
a tongue to proclaim you;
a way of life pleasing to you;
patience to wait for you;
and perseverance to look for you.

Grant me:
a perfect end,
your holy presence.
A blessed resurrection,
And life everlasting.

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