Yesterday I took her (and her luggage) to Dulles International Airport so she could fly to London and then on to Aberdeen, Scotland, where she will spend a year getting a Master’s degree in Anthropology.
There were some tender moments at the airport as we said goodbye, and even though she has traveled before and spent a semester abroad I couldn’t keep the lump from rising in my throat as I watched her walk away.
My little girl is growing up.
But this morning I’m turning my thoughts toward worship, which will include—at the 11:00 service—the baptism of Adam Trueman. Adam is a good-looking, good-natured red-haired kid I’m still getting to know, but today I have a special role in his life: I am the one who will dip him down beneath the waters of baptism in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
What an honor.
In some Christian traditions the members of a church call their minister “Father.” I’m not Adam’s father, but in some ways what I’m doing for him today feels fatherly. I have a feeling that just before I dip him down beneath the water I will feel a lump rise in my throat, as I often do in such moments.
This little boy is growing up.
One of the wonderful things about the church is discovering that family is bigger than the people we grew up with, that we have brothers and sisters all over the world. It’s one of the reasons Catherine is making it a priority to find a church she can attend while she’s in Aberdeen. She’s already visited the website of a church close to campus to find out when the Sunday service begins. Who knows? Maybe next Sunday she will walk up those front steps and a red-haired kid named Adam—a little brother with a Scottish accent—will run up and hug her around the knees.
I hope you will be able to join us for worship today, either in person or by tuning in to the live webcast at http://www.fbcrichmond.org at 8:30 or 11:00. It’s Labor Day weekend. Lots of people are traveling. Some to the other side of the ocean. But wherever you are and whoever you are you’d be welcome to join us.
We are, after all, family.