ARTICLE FOR CHURCH NEWSPAPERS
The Baptism of the Lord - 10th January 2016
Striking Out For Jesus!
– by Julia Beacroft
I HAVE ALWAYS had a real fondness for those lovable Larkin characters created by H. E. Bates. The fun-loving family rollicked their way through five books beginning with The Darling Buds of May.
However, I have to admit that my favourite episode – and the one which even now doubles me over with laughter – is when the whole of the Larkin offspring, plus grandchild, a grand total of eight in all, are baptised en masse.
The scene is rich with humour anyway. However, when ‘little Oscar’, the youngest of the brood, takes a fancy to a wooden spoon, which he is allowed to keep to pacify him, he does none other than whack the unfortunate vicar on the head with it not once, but twice, during the baptismal rite!
Personally, I have never witnessed a baptism quite like that one. Which is just as well, you’re probably thinking! Nevertheless, whatever the circumstances, baptism is so important. It is, of course, one of the Church's seven sacraments, where we are given entry into new life in the Trinity.
Furthermore, all the baptised automatically become members of Christ’s church on earth and all sin is removed. Yet when we consider that Jesus was humble enough to be baptised by John, we cannot help but be truly awed by this.
Baptism takes away all sin, yet Christ was truly sinless. Baptism brings us to new life
in Christ, yet this was Christ himself.
And despite John's protests, the Lord was baptised, God the Father spoke and the Holy Spirit was made manifest, as a result.
Therefore, as baptised Catholic Christians, we should be struck by the fact that every time we witness a baptism we can rejoice that another member of God’s family has been admitted into the life of Christ and the life of the Church. Furthermore, it should strike us anew that Jesus was humble enough to be baptised, even though he had no need to be. And finally, it is certainly no bad thing if we feel stunned when we recall the grace, beauty and humility of our God. (ENDS – 357 words)
Julia Beacroft is a catechist and pastoral volunteer who lives in Torquay. Her first book
‘Sanctifying the Spirit’ will be published and available to buy from Pentecost 2016.