Baptism Letter: Benet O'Sullivan
January 31st - Baptism Letter
Dear Family at Christ Community,
This Sunday we will have the opportunity to celebrate God’s goodness at the 10:30 worship service as Benet Hollis O’Sullivan receives the sign and seal of baptism. Baptism will not save Benet. Nevertheless, from this point forward in his life, baptism will point Benet to his only hope in life: the person and work of Christ.
Benet’s baptism will remind him that God has been generous and good to him by providing him with Christian parents who are called to raise him in the fear and admonition of the Lord. This does not mean that Kait and I can make Benet a Christian if we parent him just right. But it does mean that God often works through families to draw even little children to Himself by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone by the power of the Holy Spirit.
On top of this, Benet’s baptism will remind him that God has been generous and good to him by providing him with a loving church family who will also take vows on Sunday to assist his parents in cultivating his discipleship. As a sign and seal of our union with Christ, baptism not only symbolizes our individual relationships with Jesus. It also reminds us of the union we have with one another as the members of Christ’s body. We express, edify, and enjoy this union and communion in an especial way when we participate in intergenerational discipleship in our life together as a church family.
Theologian Scot McKnight explains the connection between family, church, and baptism in his It Takes a Church to Baptize: What the Bible Says About Infant Baptism: “What is the best way to form our children into the faith? What is the deepest way to nurture them into the faith? The family, beginning with their entrance into the church through baptism.”
Although COVID-19 has placed limitations on how many of us can witness Benet’s baptism in person on Sunday, take time this week to improve upon your own baptism. In other words, reflect upon the wondrous realities signified by your baptism. Consider your union with Christ and all the ways Jesus has blessed you as His disciple. Consider your union with the church—your brothers and sisters in Christ—and all the ways the Holy Spirit has worked through disciples from different generations to build you up in Christ. Thank God for working through those fellow disciples to grow your faith. Pray that the Holy Spirit would one day make Benet’s baptism effectual by drawing him to Christ in faith, and pray that the Lord would strengthen your own faith as you reflect upon these things.
Yours in Joyful Union with Christ,