Anglicans believe that “matter matters.” That things physical – bread, wine, water – can convey spiritual realities. This Saturday, when Cayden is baptized, the water will both picture something and convey the reality of that picture. As the water is poured over his head, it symbolizes cleansing from sin; and through prayer and faith it also conveys that cleansing. A former Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Ramsey, explained, “… all the sacraments are Christ’s acts, the touch of the hand of Christ upon human lives through visible media.”
When we come to the waters of baptism “rightly, worthily, and with faith” (as one of our foundational documents, The Thirty-Nine Articles, expresses it), spiritual blessings are received: “they that receive Baptism rightly are grafted into the Church; the promises of the forgiveness of sin, and of our adoption to be the sons of God by the Holy Ghost, are visibly signed and sealed; Faith is confirmed, and Grace increased by virtue of prayer unto God.”
I look forward to our baptism this week! And I encourage you, if you or your child has not been baptized, to consider being baptized at Easter Vigil (April 20). Email me if you’d like to talk more about this.