Little Peter was pretending to baptize his stuffed frog.
He poured pretend water over its head. The other toy animals were standing around, watching. Mama frog held her baby (though she kept tipping over, not having been built to stand on her back two legs). Daddy toad stood nearby. The Godparents, a toy dragonfly and ladybug, were on the cardboard box altar, too. The priest was a large toy dinosaur.
Mama smiled, but gently corrected her three-year-old. “Baptism is just for people.”
Peter glanced at his mother and continued playing.
“Usually, it’s babies, like Jordanna, but lots of big people get baptized, too.”
Peter’s three month old sister had been baptized the day before. Peter didn’t remember his own Christening, though he’d seen parts of it on videotape.
He made all the toys sing the baptism song.
Mama chuckled. All the kids liked that song -- sung to the tune of the happy birthday song. Even Jordanna smiled her little baby smile when they sung it to her, almost as if she understood what it meant.
Peter’s cousin got the song stuck in his head for days after Peter’s baptism, much to the dismay of Peter’s Uncle Benjamin who was not (yet?) a believer.
“Can you baptize Jordan’s baby?” asked Peter, pointing to his sister’s new doll. (He still mixed up “I” and “you.”)
“Sure,” said Mama, handing the doll to him. Jordanna was napping and wouldn’t miss it anyway.
Peter pushed the button on the doll’s tummy. It said a bedtime prayer. Peter took the doll and walked back to his make-shift altar. He found some stuffed animals to use as the doll’s parents and Godparents.
He made the dinosaur priest pour pretend water (out of half of a plastic Easter egg), over the doll’s head. He didn’t make the doll cry. Pretending to be the dinosaur priest, Peter led his congregation of stuffed animals in the baptism song once more. He even threw in some conductor motions with his arms. “Our God is with us. Our God is with us. Forever and ever, our God is with us.”
Peter made the baby doll giggle with glee. “She likes it,” he said, “Just like Jordanna!”
Mama decided right then that Peter would make a good altar server someday, and who knows, maybe he’d even become a priest.
When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Matthew 3:16-17 (NKJV)
Lord, help us live our lives so that You will be well pleased with us.
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