Page 10 - Water of Life Infant Baptism
P. 10

  Spirituality in the home
Sacred space
One way to enhance the spiritual atmosphere of your home is to arrange a ‘prayer space:’ a focal point for prayer and reflection. This might be a small table or shelf with a bible and a cross.
As your baby’s baptism day approaches, gradually add baptismal symbols to your prayer space: a bowl of water, perfumed oil, a white cloth, a candle. Perhaps add a green branch or a decorated egg (symbol of new life).
Involve young children in gathering and placing the symbols.
3. Symbols of baptism
The symbols used in baptism are simple yet profound, packed with sacred meaning. They connect us with the early church, and with generations of believers who have gone before us.
Sign of the Cross
The ceremony begins with a sign of welcome and belonging. The celebrant traces the sign of the cross of your child’s forehead, saying:
N., the Church of God welcomes you with great joy. In its name I claim you for Christ our Saviour by the sign of his cross.
The cross is the sign of Jesus’ sacrificial love. His whole life was dedicated to walking the path of God’s love. He loved unto death.
The cross is also the sign of Jesus’ resurrection. Even death could not extinguish the power of God’s love in Jesus. Death is not the end! God desires for us eternal life. This is the great promise that Christian baptism holds out to your child.
Parents with young children are in a unique position to appreciate the meaning of sacrificial love. From sleepless nights and 3am feeds to financial sacrifices and deep- seated lifestyle changes—not to mention the birth itself—parenting is a real ‘breaking open’ of lives, demanding new depths of selfgiving which ultimately cause us to grow.
Love costs. In so many ways it calls us to ‘die’ to ourselves. Yet, paradoxically, authentic loving is ultimately lifegiving. The image of Jesus on the cross speaks to us of this paradox, of what really matters in life, that which is worth living and dying for.
For reflection at home: in my parenting experience so far, what has been my experience of ‘sacrificial love’?
Prayer tip: place an image of the cross in your home. As you look upon it, allow it to speak to you amidst the daily joys and challenges of marriage and parenting. Share your heart with Jesus, the crucified and risen one.
A simple yet powerful prayer: each night, trace the sign of the cross on your child’s forehead. Do the same for each of your children as you kiss them good night.

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