On Sunday, September 10th, we had a really cool thing happen. A family joined the church, and their son was baptized. All baptisms and joinings are wonderful celebrations, and thankfully we have had a lot of those going on lately! This day was particularly meaningful because it helped us all remember what baptism is in a powerful way. The family who joined are from Pakistan. They have made their way here for education and other reasons, but they came upon our church because they enrolled their child in our preschool. They decided to visit and found a warm and welcoming community. They wanted to join and become a part of everything going on and found our church to be engaging and inviting.
One of the things they shared with me while we were meeting about the baptism, was that all of their family is back in Pakistan. They come from a family culture where aunts, uncles, and grandparents all take part in the raising of children, and so they are missing that here in Georgia. Through baptism, the church made a promise, to help raise this child in the faith. So quite literally, this family is joining our family of faith at Embry Hills UMC. We promised to surround them with love and forgiveness.
Sometimes, when we do something so much we forget what it means. The promises we made at our own baptism, or the baptism of our own children, were made very real on this Sunday. We promised to raise these children. To love this family. To pray together. To laugh together. To support and uplift one another. These aren’t just words that we say, they are promises. I am praying that we continue to be a church that keeps our promises because it makes a real difference in people’s lives, and God keeps God’s promises.