I asked the big brother to look into the pitcher that was sitting on our altar table and tell me what was in it. He gave the correct answer… water. Then I asked him, “What do you do with water?” I was expecting the usual answers of getting clean or drinking it. I then use the obvious answers to explain that water can be a way that we remember that God helps us to be clean on the inside and give us what we need.
For a few moments the big brother looked back at me as some kids do when you ask a silly question. Then the big brother looked back at me smiled and said, “You have fun in it!” If you remember this was the same Sunday when it was so hot that even in the air conditioning of our sanctuary, I was sweating it out under my liturgical garment. My first thought was that commercial for the Wisconsin Dells where the guy remembers the fun he had there and splashes water in his face from the water fountain. I started to pour the water over my head to cool off. But then I remembered that I was talking about baptism to a first grader. I thought ….”you know, this kid has it right.”
The big brother had it right because baptism is a time when we recognize the beauty, the glory, the fun God desires to share with us in life. Baptism as a sacrament is also something we participate in together. And so it is also a moment for us to recognize that the life we share together with God is meant to some fun in it.
I can’t say this enough…. what I like about the word fun, especially when a child calls our attention to it, is that you can’t fake fun. When a kid is really having a good time, there is seldom anything put on or pretended. Having fun to a child is being your authentic, genuine self.
Now I don’t know what you do to have fun, but this week and next I’m on vacation trying to do just that. I enjoy riding my bike and reading books on the dock. This year I’m going to see how kayaking goes. I hope you have had or will have some time this summer to do nothing but have some fun, nothing but be yourself for a while. And let’s not be afraid to have some fun together, in of all places, during our time at church. And maybe while you’re doing something fun or just after, you will also remember your baptism and be thankful.
Keep the Faith,