February 3rd, 2003

crane

The River Jordan

Religion warning, here. I'd say go on, if you're not interested, but I'm not going to bother with the tag stuff.

John and I talked about the possibility of baptizing Jet for a while, on the order of a year. I have odd hang ups about baptisms mostly because my Catholic background, and I thought, for the longest time that I wouldn't have Jet baptized because it really is his choice if he wants to be a Christian, in the long term. And, from a Catholic background, the moment the water touches you, I think of that as a binding contract with God, from that point on you're judged by Christian rules for your afterlife (what there may be of it). Period.

John has a very, very different take on it. For him, a baptism is most of a symbolic ritual that allows everyone in the community to know that this kid is to be considered part of the community, and for the kid to know that they now have a bunch of people that have promised to support, love, and care about them.

Talk about differences of perspective.

It helped to talk with our pastor, and go over, in detail, the elements of their service. Admittedly, after having attended a few baptisms here, I had a good idea of what to expect, including, what was very important to me, the explicit wording that while we could encourage the joining of this particular and peculiar sect, that in the end it really was Jet's choice as to whether or not he would, for himself, affirm the baptism at a later date. So our congregation's understanding of it was the same as John's, and under those understandings and precepts, I could partake and not feel like it was some huge pressure for Jet to conform to Christian ways.

Though, the more I experience of this life, the less I see it as conforming to just about anything... So we went ahead with it. On Jet's Birthday. With John's parents, as they happened to be here to help baby sit Jet while his normal caregiver's on a week long vacation. In front of a nice, big crowd. With eighteen kids that were in front for the kids' message. And, surprises of surprises, it was with a small phial of water from the River Jordan.

Michael's mother-in-law had given it to him a long time ago, and he'd misplaced it and, by accident, found it last week in a drawer and remembered what it was. So he used it on Jet.

So Jet was baptized with water from the River Jordan, which amuses me twice. I mean... hey... it's Jordan touching my life again!! And then it's also the whole thought of Jet lucking into the serendipity of baptism with the same water that baptized Jesus. That latter is kind of cool.