Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5
Since I became a Christian as a young adult, I took a long time to understand the purpose of infant baptism. The best answer I have found is that the sacrament is not about the child accepting Jesus Christ as her Savior and Redeemer. It’s not even about her parents, godparents, pastor, relatives and fellow parishioners ushering her into the family of God. Because, truly, neither that tiny child nor the adult people who care for her can do what God does during baptism at any age. Baptism in the Christian church means that into the heart of the baptized person, faith is given as a gift of grace, and not from anything any person can accomplish alone. I had not been a total believer in infant baptism, since my own journey brought me to Christ fully grown, fully awake and aware, and still incapable of saving myself. I did not have parents who brought me to be baptized; I came on my own, as many in the early Christian church did. But however we come to be baptized, at some point we must also make a conscious decision to accept God’s grace, redemption, forgiveness and immense love as a precious gift to us individually. This is the key to eternal life, and life in the “now-kingdom of God.”
When one is offered an immensely valuable gift with no strings attached, one should simply take that gift and say, “Thank you.” But we humans are a suspicious lot, so we say, “What’s the catch? Why would I believe someone would want to give me a nice gift such as, say, daily peace that passes all understanding or eternal life?” But the gift is there, and it’s free and it will change our lives completely, radically, like nothing else could ever change us. All we have to do is accept the gift because—and this is the best part—it’s already ours anyway. God loved us from the moment we were born—from the moment we were conceived—and the only thing He wants from us is our cooperation.
Lord, take me as Your beloved, imperfect child, no strings attached. Amen
Both candid and humorous, insightful and ponderous, Meg Blaine Corrigan’s memoir, Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child, takes the reader through her chaotic childhood with an alcoholic mother and enabling father to a violent assault that nearly ended her life. She populates her tale with vivid descriptions of her parents, other influential adults, the attacker, and her disastrous first marriage. But this story has a happy ending, when Meg finds solace in a God she didn’t think she’d ever believe in, when He gently helps her heal from her past lives and move into the best times of her life. Meg has also written a novel, Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist, about said first marriage, as well as a Christian devotional, Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian, comprised of blogs from this site. Stay tuned for sequels to her last two books! All of her works may be purchased through her website, www.MegCorrigan.com or from www.amazon.com .