Tuesday, November 20, 2012
One never knows exactly how any baptism is going to go, particularly if you're not dealing with adults. Little ones aren't aware of exactly what it is they're committing to when they come forward and are embraced by the sacrament...but then again, I'm not sure any of us grownup human beings quite fully grasp it, either.
The wee one in question Sunday was not an infant, but a happily squiggly toddler, for whom the entire world is still something to animatedly explore. Which, of course, she did, noodling her way around her parents and attempting to sneak up into the pulpit on at least three occasions. A fine place for a little girl to learn to feel comfortable, think I.
When the time came for me to place the water on her, she was momentarily still, comfortably ensconced in her father's arms. I showed her the water in the silver chalice, and plashed my hand in it, so she could see just what it was. She looked at it intently.
And then, with the first words of institution, I took a cupped handful of water and poured it gently over her head.
To which she said, matter-of-factly, "Uh oh."
I took another cupped hand filled with water, and did it again, speaking the next words. "Uh oh," she said again.
And I thought, "Yup, that's about right."
If even half the adults who get baptized had any idea of what that action implied, I think we'd hear those words a whole bunch more often.