It was Confirmation Sunday. Confirmation is the “confirming of vows that you made or were made for you at your baptism.” Most folks in confirmation were baptized as infants, but every other year or so there is someone in the group who has yet to be baptized. Since we all reaffirm or confirm our baptismal vows at every baptism, being baptized on your confirmation Sunday is very appropriate.
This year there were two of our group, Tristan and Lauren, who had yet to be baptized. Lauren’s younger sister Meredith was also being baptized. Now if you were here, you would have noticed that these baptisms were going to be different. There was no way I was going to hold any of these three in my arms, much less carry them around as I do the infants who are baptized…
I’ve not baptized that many youth or adults, and so it is still a rather different experience. It’s different standing eye level with someone… especially these three whom I know very well. I know some of their lives’ stories… Even at their tender young age, there are struggles and pains of life. There are a few other things I know, times I have experienced with all three of them, that are simply delightful. And so each time I dipped my hand in the water and offered the words….Lauren…Meredith… Tristan…. I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…something stirred within me. By the time I watched the water dripping from Tristan’s head, I was not worried about whether or not like infants they were going to cry… I was worried that I would begin sobbing like a baby.
What was that?
When the Holy Spirit reaches down deep and takes residence for a moment inside you… time changes and sometimes you lose track of where you are and what you are supposed to be doing. I did… Now, I know, as a worship leader, I’m supposed to have a hold on that… and I’d like to think that most of the time I do… But for a few moments…on Sunday… the presence and what we sometimes call “the power” of the Holy Spirit filled whatever capacity I had available for remembering what came next in the service.
I pray that Tim and Don and the Bosch family have found it in their hearts to forgive me. I forgot to have the parents come forward as we sang the song “Sanctuary” in preparation for our laying on of hands of everybody else. It was after I had already started this with Mackenzie Bosch that I sort of came to and realized where I was and what was needed. We went back and started over… so I guess Mackenzie is doubly confirmed.
Now I’m not trying to make an excuse for a big mistake in the order of service. It’s not the first mistake I’ve made …it will not be the last. What I am doing is hopefully encouraging you to be open to a moment such as this occurring in your life… in the life we share together as a congregation… A moment when the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit fills you…fills us… so that all else fades from our awareness and time changes from whatever kind of time we are keeping… to the kind of time God is offering.