Some times they worry about how to fold their hands during worship. Some days the issue is the translation of a particular verb. But it is absolutely certain that at some point in the first semester, some one will raise the question of baptism and still born children.
Professor, what do you do if a baby has died and the parents want you to baptize their child?
It’s a difficult situation to imagine. And an all too painful reality for some. The thing is, our Lutheran theology, our doctrine, our rules, say that baptism is meant for the living and that it is not necessary to baptize an infant who has died. Luther very compassionately argues that the tears of the parents are all the blessing that their child needs and that there is no doubt that God welcomes these little ones into his kingdom.
But when faced with grief stricken parents, who insist there can be no other way, do you break the rule?
I have come to believe that whatever you do in a situation like that, make sure, absolutely sure, that you are a sign of God’s love to those people. Try your best to be a means of mending and not breaking. Unleashing and not binding. And trust that God will bless all those involved with his love and mercy.