soggy joy


On Sunday morning at our church we had a service of Believer’s Baptism. Three young people declared their allegiance to Jesus in words and actions. It is always a joy to baptise someone, but it is especially special when one of them is your son.

Thomas being baptised, and yes he
IS that much taller than me

I decided that to be fair to Thomas and so it was about him and his faith in Jesus rather than about me I would not make any special ‘dad/son’ references and baptise him like everyone else. It also helped me avoid getting choked up and emotional. (I did feel it on occasions during the service but was able to keep myself under control).

After the baptisms I was able to give Thomas a big hug and then had to go off to do Ministerish things, so was not able to talk much to him at that time. It was probably a good thing because some friends of his had come to support him and he wanted to spend some time with them.

On the way home in the car, however, it was just the two of us. Lots of people had said to me how proud I must have been and what a thrill it would have been to baptise Thomas and they were right. It did mean a bit more to me than baptising Sarah and Amy (but that was still fantastic too!). I reflected on the experience and reckon I feel a bit like (in a small, imperfect way) God the Father when Jesus was baptised and the voice from heaven declared, “This is my son, whom I love. I am well-pleased with him.”


Apparently true story – from t’internet
One day my youngest daughter phoned. “Dad,” she laughed, “you’d have cracked up today in our church. During a baptism one of the older ladies lost her wig, and the pastor picked it up like some drowned rat and handed it to her as she stepped out of the water. We had to sing about two dozen hymns before she’d come out to meet the congregation. It was a gas!”

Definitely true stories
These two accounts of baptism difficulties happened to two ministers I know, whose identity will remain hidden if they pay the sums required into my numbered Swiss bank account.

A minister used to wear fisherman’s waders under robes when he was baptising people. This enabled him to keep his suit on and make a very quick change after the baptisms. He stopped this practice when he discovered a hole in the bottom of one leg… once he had got into the pool and the leg started filling with water. This left him with restricted movement because his leg was so heavy, difficulty climbing out of the pool at the end, and a soaking wet pair of trousers and no dry ones to wear after the service.

Another minister had finished baptising and had gone to change in the vestry at the back while the congregation sang a hymn. He had to get back to lead communion that was following the baptisms. He panicked when he realised he could not find his dry underpants and in the end decided the best he could do was wring out the wet ones and wear them – after all he had a dark suit.

He went back into church while the congregation finished the hymn and felt a sniffle. He pulled out his handkerchief to wipe his nose only to discover that he was holding his dry underpants. To his credit he was unfazed, blew his nose in them and put them back into his pocket.

It may be going wrong if…
The RNLI has to become involved in some unexpected way.
The service is held at “Splash Mountain Water Park.”
The minister has to wear a frogman outfit complete with air tanks into the water.
As the baptism begins the organist plays the theme from JAWS.
The deacons show up with fishing gear.

The minister shouts, “Someone call a plumber!”
The person who has filled the baptismal pool and heated the water turns up with an ice pick.

2 thoughts on “soggy joy

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