Jesus had great parents who took their Jewish religion seriously. They were both open to the prompting of God, which brought the Savior into the world. They listened to their conscience and did what was right by God–and so should we who strive to be holy families. The Holy Family brought their child to be circumcised according to the law of Moses so that he might be presented to the community. When the community has a new member, it is cause to celebrate!
Holy Parents do wait to bring their child to the Church, the community of faith. They bring their child forward as early as possible to be cleansed of the stain of original sin and be born again of water and Spirit. To be presented to the community, to God, and to receive His grace, friendship, and love.
It’s not only about heaven and hell, it’s about life and love, and community, and welcoming the newest member of the Church. Baptism is amazing. No wonder the church teaches parents not to wait…why would you?!
I often hear that baptism is for individuals to choose, not have the choice made for them, or so goes the argument for adult baptism, but the truth is that my children were born into my family without choice. They were named without choice. They were fed without choice. And they brush their teeth without choice.
As a loving parent, it’s my job to do what’s good for my children. And I believe in the real grace and salvation of baptism. Why would a loving parent who believes in God, and the power of sacraments, and who belongs to a community of faith, not publicly celebrate that child’s entry into the community at any age?
Baptism is not about what an individual chooses or does, but is rather first and foremost what God is doing. God is naming, God is blessings, God is saving. We respond as best as we can. Throughout our whole life we respond as best as we can. And some days are better, and some worse, but I know that I forever belong to a community of faith and am a child of the most holy God. And holy families want that for their children too. Like Rafiki in The Lion King, present the child. Amen.