Christening (which is sometimes called Baptism) is the way that people become members of God’s Church. It is a recognition that as well as being part of a human family we are also part of God’s. The prayer that Jesus himself taught us to pray starts, ‘Our Father …’ and recognises that we are God’s children.
The version of the prayer that most of us know goes on ‘Hallowed be thy (or your) name’. Hallowed is another way of saying ‘Holy’, something dedicated to God. That is something more than just being kind and fair in the way we treat people. Jesus summed this up in two commandments.
> To love God with all your heart and soul and mind, and
> To love our neighbours as ourselves
In the story of the Good Samaritan Jesus defined our neighbour as anyone needing our help – whoever they are, whatever nationality, gender, age, sexuality, ability … or anything else.
That’s the point of being part of God’s family – it’s world wide and any body can be a part.
So as part of the service Parents and Godparents make promises to live a Holy life, and to help the child grow up to be part of God’s Holy family. The promises first reject and evil way of life and then positively turn to God’s way, so in the service we say …
Question: Do you
reject the devil and all rebellion against God?
Parents and God Parents answer: I reject them.
Do you renounce the deceit and corruption of evil?
Parents and God Parents: I renounce them.
Do you repent of the sins that separate us from God and neighbour?
Parents and God Parents: I repent of them.
And then …
Do you turn to Christ as Saviour?
Parents and God Parents: I turn to Christ.
Do you submit to Christ as Lord?
Parents and God Parents: I submit to Christ.
Do you come to Christ, the way, the truth and the life?
Parents and God Parents: I come to Christ.
I have to say Christians don’t always live up to this. But an important part of our faith is that we can say ‘sorry’ and start again – its even there in the ‘Our Father’ prayer … ‘Forgive us our trespasses (or sins) as we forgive those who trespass against us.’ But that is the point, its chance to start again on this Amazing Journey of faith in God.
Is this what you want for your Child, or maybe for yourself? Please get in touch with us and we can talk through what is needed. It may be that we need to refer you to your own church (the church of the parish in which you live) but even so we can help with that.
Want to know more about Christening or Baptism? Go to the ‘First Steps on an Amazing Journey’ website