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Content about Baptism

March 1, 2010

Note: All names in this story have been changed to protect the privacy of the individuals mentioned.

September 1, 2009

Q My pastor was explaining John Calvin’s understanding that in the Lord’s Supper “the Holy Spirit lifts us up so that we commune with Jesus in heaven.” This sounds beautiful—but it also sounds pretty far-fetched. The Lord’s Supper doesn’t feel, taste, or look like heaven. What are we to make of this?

June 1, 2009

In early September, many churches begin a new season of church education classes and a host of other programs with a special “kick-off” worship service. Most often these services focus on a theme of dedication, and there never seems to be enough songs with words like “Take My Life and Let It Be.” While this is a strong theme, it can also focus a lot of attention on the enormous outpouring of busyness the new year promises.

June 1, 2009

Q After a few years of welcoming younger children to profession of faith, our church has reverted to the older pattern where only the young people eighteen and older want to profess their faith. That seems to be when they are ready. Isn’t that OK?

A Having eighteen-year-olds make profession of faith is indeed terrific. It is far better than in many churches where youth simply drift away!

June 1, 2009

“In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The Lord your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.”
—Joshua 4:21-24

March 1, 2009

I’ll never forget my visit to see the famous leaning tower in Pisa, Italy. I had not realized that the tower was a bell tower at the east end of the church in Pisa, a separate building with bells that would peal when someone died. I actually became more interested in the building at the other end of the church—the round baptistery, a separate building dating from the thirteenth century built just for baptisms, with fantastic acoustics.

March 1, 2007

In part one of this two-part article, Calvin Van Reken argues that the church ought to reclaim the practice of calling God’s people to obedient living. I encourage you to take time to read this article, to think it through, and to discuss it with your worship planning group or others in your church community.

December 4, 2004

What we celebrate today . . . is the mystery of God’s grace.

Dear Rebecca Lee,

December 4, 2004

What we celebrate today . . . is the mystery of God’s grace.

Dear Rebecca Lee,

December 4, 2004

Sometimes things start out all wrong, but somehow end up gloriously more than just all right. Such was the case with an adult baptism service on the shores of Lake Michigan one August Sunday morning.

December 4, 2004

In the fall of 1996 my wife and I traveled to Korea to pick up our daughter Gina Soo. While we were there, friends from our church also got the call that their daughter Mia could be picked up. So on the day before we were scheduled to return to the United States, they arrived to pick up their little girl. A few weeks later both Gina and Mia were baptized together at First Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids. To celebrate that event I wrote a prayer that all four of us did as a liturgical reading.

December 4, 2004

In the fall of 1996 my wife and I traveled to Korea to pick up our daughter Gina Soo. While we were there, friends from our church also got the call that their daughter Mia could be picked up. So on the day before we were scheduled to return to the United States, they arrived to pick up their little girl. A few weeks later both Gina and Mia were baptized together at First Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids. To celebrate that event I wrote a prayer that all four of us did as a liturgical reading.

March 3, 2003

On hot summer days, Pere Marquette Park is a beachgoer's paradise. Draped along Muskegon's west side, the park features acres of fine sand, swings and slides for the kids, and a view of Lake Michigan that rivals any tourist brochure.

March 3, 2003

On hot summer days, Pere Marquette Park is a beachgoer's paradise. Draped along Muskegon's west side, the park features acres of fine sand, swings and slides for the kids, and a view of Lake Michigan that rivals any tourist brochure.

March 3, 2003

Some readers may wonder whether the practice of baptism as described in this article opens a can of worms. Given the movement of understanding and appreciation of my own faith community, though, it's a can well worth opening. For the first time, many in our congregation are starting to "get" baptism. What is going on? Who is most important?

December 1, 2001
WORSHIP COMMISSION OF THE CHRISTIAN REFORMED CHURCH

Members of the Worship Commission of the Christian Reformed Church who contributed to this discussion:
Victoria Cok, student, Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Lisa De Boer, professor of art, Westmont College, Santa Barbara, California.
Wayne A. Brouwer, pastor, Harderwyk Christian Reformed pastor, South Bend (Indiana) Christian Reformed Church.
David J. Diephouse, academic dean and provost, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

December 1, 2001

One of the key themes of recent liturgical renewal is the insight that baptism is the root and foundation of the Christian life. In our baptism, we are united to Christ in his death and resurrection (Rom. 6). The Christian life is an ongoing experience of the dying of our old selves and rising of the new.

December 1, 2001

From the Psalter Hymnal (PsH) (CRC Publications, 1987) and the Presbyterian Hymnal (PH) (Westminster/John Knox Press, 1990)

December 1, 2001

An extensive list of hymns and psalms relating to baptism are available here.

 

March 1, 2000

In the last issue, we showed you a design for a banner that could be hung for the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. In this issue, we've included a design for use on Sundays when the sacrament of baptism is celebrated. Compared to the communion banner, baptism should have been easy, right? Doves, rainbows, babies, drops of water--symbols abound. As it turned out, of the two, this was the more difficult to design.

December 1, 1996

I remember when I was a kid and sometimes Christmas and New Years Day fell in a particular year on a Saturday Because we were a pious church-going family, we would attend all the services the church offered. That meant worship on Saturday morning for Christmas service, and then again on Sunday morning and evening. But the real kicker came the next weekend.

December 1, 1994

The Larger Catechism of the Westminster Standards (1648) asks and answers a very important question in Q&A 167:

Q. How is our baptism to be improved by us?

A. The needful but much neglected duty of improving our baptism, is to be performed by us all our life long, especially in the time of temptation, and when we are present at the administration of it to others...

June 1, 1994

Candles have a long and rich history in Christian worship. We light them during Advent to remind us that "the true light that enlightens everyone" [NRSV] is coming into the world.

December 1, 1989

Making baptism a celebration to remember