My son on his impending lackluster baptism

In discussing baptism with Landon – who is getting baptized this weekend – he wasn’t impressed. We were trying to tell him what to expect, you know, the congregation gathered around, the liturgy, and the mode.

This didn’t impress him, really. As a matter of fact, his exact words were, “That’s it?”

We asked him what he was expecting. “Something more.”

I honestly think that he was expecting a grand show, maybe even something more along the lines of the heavens opening, doves descending, thunderings and lightning. Or at the very least, fireworks.

Of course, all my wife said was,”That’s your son, for you.”

Yeah, I reckon.

We were taking Communion a few months ago when he suggested that he would like to be baptized. He has asked several times since then, leading to discussions, and I feel that at the very least he is ready to take baptism and begin to learn what it means from this side of the flood. I take my baptism(s) very serious, finding that it means more to me the further I go into Christianity. Granted, not all do, and that’s fine, but for me, baptism is my creed.

I was baptized!, I often repeat to myself. Sometimes, I remind myself that my baptism is my sign and seal. I reflect up on it and the countless others who have taken the sacrament of baptism and did wonderful things with it, or those who had muddied the waters. I hope that Landon will grow to be a good Christian, and one who takes his baptism serious enough, regardless if he doesn’t exactly have the fireworks that he thinks he should have at that moment.

Of course, it will be a baptism steeped in Christian history and theology expressed in liturgy. So, you know, not Anglican.

Joel L. Watts
Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

6 thoughts on “My son on his impending lackluster baptism

  1. Joel, I wish you wouldn’t report the malicious characterisations of irresponsible bloggers. The truth behind this report is a proposal from a group of inner-city priests working in very deprived areas with low literacy levels, supported by their diocese, asking the Church of England to bring forward some texts that are easier for people to understand – if you like, and equivalent of an NLT baptism service to go alongside an NRSV one.

    If, of course, you think TEV, CEV, NLT and so on are apostasy, you can criticise this initiative in the terms you do. However, if you think these easier to read translations serve the gospel, perhaps you might be a little more respectful of an initiative coming from some evangelical priests who want to more effective in proclaiming the gospel.

    The PDF of the proposal (and it is only a proposal) in their own words is available here

Leave a Reply, Please!