Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Baptism the Naive Questions

I am just taking a break from some research material for tomorrow nights women at the foot of the cross series. All very full on. I never realized that when women were crucified they faced the cross. Yes it has been a slightly painful research afternoon.

Any way on another topic, at the Diocesan Ordination Training at the weekend we looked at Baptism. At one part we gathered together all the questions asked around Baptism not just from ourselves but the naive questions that are asked by people looking at getting their children baptised who may not have an understanding of why baptism is important besides the social convention of ‘getting the children done’.

These questions fascinated me and I have included them here:
What times in the Church year don’t we do it?
What should one wear to a baptism? Are hats appropriate at a Baptism?
Has baptism always been practiced in the Church? Were there periods when it was not?
Is it like my child has a magic charm protecting her?
Can baptism be ‘undone’ by Church law?
What are the responsibilities of the church to those who are baptised i.e. we say we will do a lot but do we ever really follow through?
Why aren’t we allow to give people the Eucharist who are not baptised? Shouldnt we take any chance we get to share the body and blood of Christ?
How far should we educate a family just interested in a family occasion?
Why fonts over full immersion?
Why is baptism not allowed to be administered by anyone?
What are the implications of not baptizing
Is Baptism ever refused?
What should I look for in a God parent? And how seriously is the role nowadays anyway?
Isn’t God big enough to accept those not baptised?

Some interesting and thought provoking moments came to me over what as church communities we declare at baptisms in the area of support and nurture verses what we actually do. I think there is some ongoing powerful learning for me in this.

Any way being Lent it seems appropriate that I have begun the honoring and ending of various relationships at my church as I am to move on soon which has been painful yet good. Especially the conclusion of a four year relationship with my Spiritual Director a relationship which if you will excuse me feels too sacred at this tender time to reflect on in this open space today.

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