Summary: Our commitment as Church to children - to pray and support them on their Christian journey
Bible Reading 2 Tim. 4:6-8
In our Bible reading this morning we read the last written words of St. Paul that have been preserved. Paul says at the end of his life:
“I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race and have remained faithful”
In contrast to Paul’s completion of faith here on earth, this morning marks a beginning for Megan as she starts the race Paul has now faithfully finished.
Jason and Karen have brought her here today, because they want her to grow up in the Christian faith.
Why do we have a service in Church this morning and not a separate ceremony this afternoon?
Because Megan is being welcomed into the family of God, of which we are a part
And we have a part to play
Megan’s parents and family will have the responsibility of bringing her up in the Christian faith – and some of us may be able to help.
All of us can pray for Megan.
We can pray for her to take up her Baptismal vows made here today when she is old enough.
Story: My aunt Molly was a Roman Catholic nun and she used to pray regularly that I and others in my family would become Christians.
For 17 years her prayers appeared unanswered, until at the beginning of Jan 1972, I became a Christian. I asked Jesus to become my Saviour and Lord. Later on my sister Sue also became a Christian.
I would like to encourage you to pray. Prayer is extremely important because God has chosen to work through prayer.
Being a Christian is not something 3we do in isolation. We need one another to keep going – to support each other in the faith
2. Bring her up in the faith
We want to see Megan not just being involved in church but being a committed Christian
What is the difference between involvement and commitment?
Story: Perhaps I can best explain this by way of analogy with bacon and eggs
In bacon and egg, the hen is involved but the pig is committed
If we are going to be committed Christians we need to read the Bible regularly
I would encourage you, Jason and Karen to read Megan the BIBLE regularly because that us where she will learn how to live the Christian life.
It is through reading the Bible that Megan will learn to walk in the Christian faith.
3. What is the Christian Faith?
Vows have been made today on behalf of Megan. In them we have spoken about
i. Renouncing the works of evil and
ii. Turning to Christ
We live in a Post Christian culture, where to be a Christian is to swim against the current
The essence of the Christian faith is this:
1. We have a broken relationship with God in our natural state. We call it sin – our wrongdoing. And this has separated us from God.
2. But the Good News is that Jesus died on the Cross to reconcile us with God.
The penalty of sin was death but Christ has died in our place to free us from that sentence of death and give us life.
Story: A Korean Pastor told me this story some years ago, when he came to Switzerland.
In the 4th century AD in Korea a man had two sons. The elder rose to become Chief Justice in the land and the younger became an infamous bandit.
The elder brother loved his younger brother but was unable to persuade him to change his ways.
Eventually the younger son was caught and brought before his brother, the Chief Justice. Everyone in the courtroom thought the younger brother would get off because it was well known that the Chief Justice loved his brother
But at then end of the trial, the Chief Justice sentenced his brother to death.
On the day of the execution, the elder brother came to the prison and said to his brother “Let’s swap places”. The younger brother agreed thinking that once they realised that it was the elder brother, the execution would not go forward.
On he went up on the hill to watch proceedings. His brother was brought out at dawn and to his horror executed.
Filled with remorse, he ran down the hill and told the guard his name and that he was the criminal who should be executed. The guards said to him.
“There is no sentence outstanding on anyone with that name”
In the same way, Christ has died for our sins so there is no sentence outstanding. All we have to do is to accept his death in our place.
But accepting Christ’s death on the Cross has its consequences. And we remember that as we sign Megan with the sign of the Cross.