Ira and Roman are baptized!

Last Sunday I ran into church with Arie, my parents, brother, sister-in-law, and niece. Two of us were carrying carseats with babies in them, though I can't remember who! We were running because it was raining. Pouring rain. A true shower for those caught without umbrellas! A wet precursor for the morning's event: Ira and Roman's baptism. 
At church, drying off and dressing the boys in their baptism outfits!
Omi and Grampi with their grandchildren! 
From a barren woman to mother of three! I am blessed. 
When I was a girl the pastor at my church would invite all the children forward when a baby was being baptized. We sat tight together around the baptismal font, straining to get a better view of the baby about to be marked by the waters. The pastor would ask us what kinds of things we used water for and we would list them: drinking, swimming, watering plants... and bathing. He'd stick on that bathing metaphor and explain how we baptize our babies as a sign of what God has done for us in Christ: he cleanses us from our sin. 
Pastor Mary inviting Arie to touch the waters and remember his own baptism. 

I never really understood why we would baptize a baby or talk about their forgiveness when they were too young to claim their faith for their own. Why not wait until adulthood? It wasn't until I myself became an adult that I understood the piece I had been missing: the part about community. 

We weren't baptizing babies into a personal relationship with Jesus (they would each have the opportunity to claim their faith for their own as they grew). Instead, we were baptizing them into a community of people: a community of people who knew this cleansing forgiveness for themselves and who were determined to share this precious joy with every child entrusted in their care. 

Like circumcision in the Old Testament, baptism marks the children of believers as members of God's community. It says to them: you belong here, now let us teach you what it means to belong. 

On April 19 I pushed Ira and Roman from my body and we rejoiced as we added two boys to the Burden family. On June 26 John and I carried these boys forward to be marked by the waters of baptism and welcomed into the body of Christ. 
Ira William Burden
I baptize you in the name of the Father,
and of Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.
Roman Irving Burden
I baptize you in the name of the Father,
and of Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.
As Roman and Ira were marked with the waters of baptism they were welcomed into a community and surrounded by promises.  Together with our family, friends, and church community we promised Ira and Roman that we will instruct them about our faith by word and deed, pray for them, teach them to pray, and nurture them in their faith. I love this about baptism: that it is God's welcome to a welcome into beautiful, broad community of believers. In the context of that community our boys will learn, love, stumble, fall, repent, forgive, mature, grow, be blessed and learn how to be a blessing to others. 
Praying over our family. 
Our boys will have the opportunity to make their faith their own as they grow. Baptism is not us deciding their faith for them: it is simply us saying to them, "You belong here. You are not alone. You are dearly loved. We will show you Jesus." 

As we did for Arie, John and I chose a life verse for Ira and Roman. 
For Ira we chose Psalm 126:5: 

"Those who sow with tearswill reap with songs of joy.Those who go out weeping,carrying seed to sow,will return with songs of joy,carrying sheaves with them." 

This is a verse that meant so much to us as we endured our years of infertility and kept trying and trying "sowing with tears." We now raise these boys with songs of joy, yet this is only a small picture of the eternal joy we know we have waiting for us! It is our hope and prayer that through the trials he endures in his life, Ira will continue to carry seed to sow with his hope set of the promise before him: eternal life with our Heavenly Father. 

For Roman we chose John 7:37-38
"Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, 'Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.'"

This is what we hope for Roman: that he will be so filled with the peace and joy of Christ that rivers of living water will flow from him. We pray he will imitate Christ and be a source of life for all those around him, attracting others not only to himself but to the presence of God that he himself enjoys. 

After the baptism was over there was cake and coffee. At least, I'm told there was. John and I didn't even get the chance to see the cakes before they were entirely eaten but it was for every good reason as we were showered with warm words and held in tight embraces by the many, many believers who held us and our boys in prayer before they became our own. 

When I left church that morning the rain had stopped, the clouds has blown away and the sun shone on my face. I reflected warmly on the happiness I felt to see our babies cuddled and held with such affection and love. In their baptism we celebrate that they will be held like this every day of their lives by God our Father and by his people. 



  1. What a rich tribute to our promise keeping God and the community of Christ that surrounds you. THANKS for sharing your special, special day. That last pic with the smiles...so, so cute!

  2. This is so absolutely beautiful. Covenant baptism has become one of my most favorite things in the whole world. What a glorious picture. As always, so thrilled for you.

  3. Anonymous7/06/2016

    They are so beautiful! What a special day for you all. Karen


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