Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Christian Baptism (10/18/07)
- TITLE: Baptism by the Jordan River
By Carolyn Kenney
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It was a fall day fifty-seven years ago when I was baptized in Saint Thomas of Villanova, a quaint church in my hometown of approximately 10,000 people. I have never been a regular parishioner in any other church, although when I was ten years old, the church was demolished and a new Library built in its place. Our parish, in turn, built a larger church a half mile down the street closer to my home.
About five years ago, my nephew was baptized at the “new” church. Wondering what my own baptism had been like, I decided to ask my godmother since my parents had passed away in the mid 1990’s. I was hoping she would remember if I had cried, what the day had been like, who was in attendance and other poignant memories. She answered, “I don’t know!” Needless to say, I was disappointed.
Earlier this year, I was a member of a trip to the Holy Land, which I had been looking forward to for months. The plane ride was long, but well worth the ten days in Israel. We visited many holy places which we read about in the Bible.
Early one morning, our group of thirty-three people boarded the bus after breakfast at the usual time of 7:00 A.M. Although the hour was early, it was necessary for us to be on our way in order to see everything planned for the day. Our first stop was at the Jordan River where we would renew our baptismal promises.
As we sat on stone benches by the edge of the river, the priest who conducted our trip asked the group questions about our faith to which we all replied after each one, “I do.” The first question was, “Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth?” Quietly and reverently the priest asked us questions such as this about our faith and our desire to live it according to God’s holy will. Then, one by one, we approached the edge of the river. Bending over we were sprinkled on the top of our head with holy water from the Jordan River and once again baptized into our Church. This is the river where Saint John baptized countless men, women and children, along with Jesus Christ as well. With reverence we returned to the bus, deeply thankful for the blessing we each received.
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