Friday Five

Friday Five: The Water and the Word

As posted by revhrod at RevGalBlogPals:

In this Sunday’s gospel Nicodemus asks Jesus, "How can anyone be born
after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s
womb and be born?" Poor old Nicodemus! He was so confused about the
whole "water and Spirit" business of baptism.

For today’s five,
tell us about your baptismal experiences.

1. When and where were you
baptized? Do you remember it? Know any interesting tidbits?

Heretically, I have been baptized twice. When my adoption was finalized, I was about 18 months old, and my parents wanted to mark the occasion in a manner that went beyond the legal. My mother was Southern Baptist, and my father was Methodist, and somehow they came up with the idea of having me christened at the Methodist church where his family had belonged since the 18th century. And somehow the Baptist minister was included in the event. It was a beautiful example, on both sides, of caring pastoral ministry to a family that was not limited by "rules."

At 13, I asked to be baptized in my Baptist church, which still had the same pastor, and no one ever said to me, "It’s already been done." I’ve come to understand that second experience as my Confirmation, the time when I took on for myself the vows made by others on my behalf on that November day in 1962. 

What’s the
most unexpected thing you’ve ever witnessed at a baptism?

Hmm. Witnessed? My brother and cousin renouncing the powers of evil at #1 Son’s baptism!!!

Does your
congregation have any special traditions surrounding baptisms?

Not where I am currently serving.

Are you a
godparent or baptismal sponsor? Have a story to tell?

No one has ever asked, which is too bad. I would love to be, although having them is not a requirement in my tradition. I’d like to think I would make an awesome godmother. Just sayin’.

Do you have a
favorite baptismal song or hymn?

It’s not really a baptismal hymn, but I still think fondly of being asked to pick the closing hymn for the day of my baptism, Mark Two, in 1974. It was "Living for Jesus."

Living for Jesus, a life that is true,
Striving to please Him in all that I do;
Yielding allegiance, glad hearted and free,
This is the pathway of blessing for me.

Living for Jesus Who died in my place,
Bearing on Calvary my sin and disgrace;
Such love constrains me to answer His call,
Follow His leading and give Him my all.

Living for Jesus through earth’s little while,
My dearest treasure, the light of His smile;
Seeking the lost ones He died to redeem,
Bringing the weary to find rest in Him.


O Jesus, Lord and Savior, I give myself to Thee,
For Thou, in Thy atonement, didst give Thyself for me.
I own no other Master, my heart shall be Thy throne.
My life I give, henceforth to live, O Christ, for Thee alone.

Atonement theology is not my bag. I’m not sure I understood what it meant when I picked the hymn all those years ago. Actually, I’m sure I didn’t know. What I did relate to was the sense of committing myself, for life. There are other verses, but I think these were the ones in my childhood hymnal. I can’t imagine choosing it to sing in a service now, but I still hold it dear.

12 thoughts on “Friday Five: The Water and the Word”

  1. well Songbird, it’s not heretical for a baptist to be re-baptized, which is what you were then. And your hymn? It’s a favorite old camp song from my dad’s “Youth Sings” hymnal. Every once in awhile I use it for our Wednesday matins service, and they sing it with gusto!
    I loved your play!

  2. Godparents are the kind of people who, when they do it well, help your kids get excited about their faith; witness to God’s power in their own lives; and are a source of gracious love. I am SURE you are all of the above and more for many of God’s children.

  3. Well, remember, I think of you as kind of a godmother. And you are an awesome one!
    Though I’m not as cute in the lacy white dress as I once was…

  4. Rules lead to heresy. Grace never does. Your baptismal story is grace, not rules therfore it can’t be heretical.
    But since I have been told I am a heretic on other things I may not be the best judge…

  5. heresy… well i believe that is ordering a tall skinny vanilla latte or something like that.
    (types the woman who gave up the caramel, the chocolate syrup, the whip cream, the flavored coffee and drank a cup of generic swill for breakfast…) *sigh* this is taking the lenten wilderness road huh?

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