Friday, February 15, 2008

Friday Five: The Water and The Word

In this Sunday's gospel Nicodemus asks Jesus, "How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother's womb and be born?" Poor old Nicodemus! He was so confused about the whole "water and Spirit" business of baptism. Maybe he was just tired, all that wandering around looking for Jesus in the middle of the night!

For today's five, I asked everyone to tell us about their baptismal experiences.
  1. When and where were you baptized? Do you remember it? Know any interesting tidbits? I was baptized as a baby on January 1, 1961 in the church my parents belonged to before my dad was drafted into the army. They came home over the holidays and had me baptized. My sisters and I were all baptized at St. John Lutheran Church- but they are three different churches. This has made it more difficult for my mother to be sure whose momentos are whose.

  2. What's the most unexpected thing you've ever witnessed at a baptism? While baptizing my nephew, he spit up. I've done a lot of baptisms but that had never happened before. Not wanting to create a fuss and wanting him to put "his best face forward" I took the baptismal napkin which was damp from drying his head and made a quick swipe across his face. I have wondered if my sister washed the napkin later or if that's just a part of his baptismal memento.

  3. Does your congregation have any special traditions surrounding baptisms? The church we belong to currently has a lovely font up in the front of the chancel. When there is a baptism, a gentleman in the parish creates a wreath of greens and flowers that fits around the top of the font. It's really quite sweet.

  4. Are you a godparent or baptismal sponsor? Have a story to tell? I am the godmother of Little Sister #2's daughter. She was very good at her baptism, but I cried more than I might have. The service was at the Easter Vigil during my second year at sem. I was having a real crisis of faith and the baptismal service really put me in touch with my fears and questions.

  5. Do you have a favorite baptismal song or hymn? Why do I ask questions that I don't know the answers to! I really like "O Blessed Spring" by Susan Cherwien and Bob Farlee.

O blessed spring, where Word and sign
embrace us into Christ the Vine:
here Christ enjoins each one to be
a branch of this life-giving Tree.

Through summer heat of youthful years,
uncertain faith, rebellious tears,
sustained by Christ’s infusing rain,
the boughs will shout for joy again.

When autumn cools and youth is cold,
when limbs their heavy harvest hold,
then through us, warm, the Christ will move
with gifts of beauty, wisdom, love.

As winter comes, as winters must,
we breathe our last, return to dust;
still held in Christ, our souls take wing
and trust the promise of the spring.

Christ, holy Vine, Christ, living Tree,
be praised for this blest mystery:
that Word and water thus revive
and join us to your Tree of Life.

Text: Susan Palo Cherwien, b. 1953
©1993 Susan Palo Cherwien, admin. Augsburg Fortress

Duplication in any form prohibited without permission or valid license from copyright administrator.


Silent said...

Lovely song choice.

Sally said...

another song I don't know! Wonderful lyrics... quick thinking with your nephew- well done.

Wyldth1ng said...

Have to laugh at your number 2, thanks.

Jiff said...

Ooooh...a wreath of greens and flowers. Lovely!
Thanks for stopping at my blog!

Singing Owl said...

Sweet picture! I'm enjoying the pics people are posting here and there. A new song for me too.

Auntie Knickers said...

Lovely song; six degrees of separation for me as one of my daughters was friends with Bob Farlee's son in high school. I have to chuckle about the St. John Lutheran thing. Both my son and I were baptized at First Church, Congregational, but about 1500 miles apart!

Diane said...

yes, love your number 2, and don't know the song, but I will soon!