Getting Baptised

 

Why do people get baptised?

One reason why Christians choose to get baptised is because Jesus himself was baptised. He also asked his disciples to baptise others as a sign of their commitment to living life differently. In the Bible, the Gospel of Matthew records these words as the last thing Jesus said before he returned to heaven:
 
“I have been given complete authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptising themin the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”(Matthew 28: 18-20)
Jesus asked it, so Christians do it!
 

What does Baptism mean?

For many Christians, baptism is an outward symbol of something happening on the inside. The word for this is a sacrament: something ordinary in itself, but that has a sacred (special) meaning. In this case, the meaning is that someone has turned to Jesus and wants to follow him and his ways.
 
There are two big things that baptism in water symbolises:
 

Getting clean

When people do things that displease God, it’s almost like getting dirt on your soul. Water is used for washing. Through baptism, Christians show that they have been made clean by receiving God’s forgiveness for the things they have done wrong.

Moving from death to life.

If you saw somebody lying still on the floor, you might think that they were asleep, or perhaps worse. If they were to sit up, you would think they had woken up. When Christians are baptised by immersion – pushed backwards under the water and then brought up again – they show that an old way of living has gone. The old person is dead and a new person is alive, ready to start living in a way that pleases God.

 

What about babies and infants?

While we recognize that other churches practice infant Baptism here at St Luke’s we understand The Bible to teach that only professing believers qualify for Baptism. However in the Bible there are times when we see parents bringing their children to Jesus, He didn’t baptise them, He blessed them and so to reflect that here at St Luke’s we have a “Dedication Service”.
 
A “Dedication Service” is a ceremony in which parents thank God for the birth of a child and make promises about how as parents they will look after their new baby. It’s called a ‘dedication’ because in the Bible a woman called Hannah was unable to have a child for a long time and when she did eventually have a baby boy her response was to dedicate him to God. In the service we entrust the child to God’s care for the future and pray for the parents, asking for God’s help in the sometimes daunting task of looking after their baby.
 

What happens at a Dedication Service?

There is no water involved – this is not a christening and there is no suggestion that this ceremony makes the child a Christian. If appropriate, the parents can make promises that they will share their own faith with their son or daughter, but there is no expectation that non-Christians should have to make any such commitment. Dedication services normally happen as part of a normal morning service at St Luke’s, but private dedication ceremonies can be arranged with our minister.
 

What about God Parents?

Sometimes people nominate friends or members of their family as a ‘godparents’ who will support them in bringing up the child and who is invited to promise to be available as a friend to the child as they grow up and to set a good example. Other family members or friends who are present are also invited to express their support. During the service those who are “God-Parents” also take part in the ceremony making promises to support their “God-children” and their parents in the years to come. Why not come along one Sunday to one of our services and see what goes on? Also Mums and Dads with new babies are always very welcome at our parent and toddler group which meets at our community centre on Tuesday morning