Sunday’s celebration in Virginia Beach was a true moment of grace!  A former student of mine, and her husband, were having their son baptized.  As with so many Navy families, they are far from home and welcome the presence of familiar faces when they celebrate family milestones.  And, so, with great joy, we made the trip to help support them during this first sacrament for their son.

What made the ceremony so unique was that it took place aboard the father’s naval ship.  While it was far from a cathedral with beautiful stained glass windows or fine wood furnishings, the amazing thing is . . . the Holy Spirit was there in spite of all of it!  We celebrated the Eucharist together, signed the child, blessed the water, joined in the prayers, lit the candle, and anointed the child for a life-long journey with Christ.

It made me realize in a very real way that location and place really has nothing to do with baptism.  The only place that is important is our own hearts – where we welcome the life of Christ and grow to be members of a community of belief and action.

Baptism opens our hearts to the reality of Christ living in our day and time, within the people we encounter and the experiences we have.  It prepares and strengthens us for a life of discipleship and commitment so that Christ can continue to be seen in our day and our time through the work that we do.

What a grace it is that baptisms are still taking place – no matter the place.

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