(Following a friend's example, in honor of my 30th birthday I have decided to post 30 things I have accomplished in my life in 30 years. So for the remaining 8 days leading up to my birthday watch for a new post each day celebrating these 30 things.)
In my 30 years one privilege that very few people in life will have is that I have baptized and dedicated children and adolescents, including my niece Madeline, as they begin their life in Christ. I also have the privilege of being connected to my niece Kate even more than we already are (have I mentioned we are the same child?), by being her God-mother. I know many are PRESENT during baptisms and dedications - but to be the one that performs these actual rituals is sometimes beyond my imagination! Whether baptizing as infants, or as adolescents at an "age of reason," or sharing in the family's joy as they bring their child to be dedicated to God, it is a tremendous privilege to be present when someone's life is dedicated to Christ. It is also a challenge to each and every one of us present to remember our own commitments to Christ when we are there encouraging another child of God to dedicate their life to the way of Christ!
Time and time again in my career (sometimes I don'f feel like I should call it that, because it feels like so much MORE than a "job") I don't understand why I have the distinct privilege to be a part of such a sacred time. It's humbling to be a part of parents' decisions - that parenting is hard, and we don't know all the ins and outs, we don't know all the right answers - but what we do know is that we want our child raised in the light of Christ. And children, when they begin to ask the tough questions, and to become comfortable with the mystery and to trust that no matter the answers, they know Christ is the way. How did I get so lucky? Baptisms and dedications are certainly some of those moments that I give thanks and think, "how lucky am I?"