Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Covenant Baptism Day...

 And they shall come from the east...
and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.
Luke 13:29

Our four children would tell us how much they loved Jesus and they were absorbing everything we taught them regarding obedience to the Word of God. Yet, during Worship each Lord's Day, when our entire family would go up for communion, the 'bread and the wine' had to be passed by them.
They could not partake of the covenant feast. 

Our children were not baptized. 

After several weeks of this, their Dad spoke with the three Elders of our church. He asked if there would be a problem with baptizing our four children in their 'new name', even though it is not their 'legal name'. They saw no problem; since this name would be our children's legal name at adoption, it would be give to them as their Christian name in baptism. So the date was chosen.

April 14, 2013

 It would be one week before their brother Garrison's wedding to Melissa; making it easy for Gramma and Papa to be here from Virginia. It was also decided that 2 week old Hadassah would be baptized as well. 

The day was bright and sunny
with an expected high of 70 degrees. 

It was going to be a wonderful day of Worship with
five baptisms and four first communions. 

The children were in happy moods,
but a bit anxious for what was to come.
After breakfast, Dad and Mom gave them a gift for
remembrance of their baptism, cross necklaces.

When we got to church, Dad walked the children though what they could expect. They were all pretty nervous, but this did help to prepare their hearts. 

Soon our adult children arrived. Melinda came in first, helping Josh and Jennifer by carrying Jael. Gramma and Papa gave her a warm hello, but she was still waking up from her 'car nap'.

Then they got to see their
great-granddaughter Hadassah for the first time!

Grammy took Jael from Aunt Meli and then had all of her girls gathered for a photo. Luke refused to be left out, it did not matter to him one bit that he was not a girl!

Then Papa got to hold Jael... 

...next Gramma got a turn to hold
this precious almost two year old.  

By this time, Hadassah had been changed into her baptismal gown which her mommy had made especially for her. Their tradition is that each child have their own baptismal gown made just for them by their mommy.

Daddy talking sweetly to his little girl
and mommy sweetly smiling at them both.

The Joshua Robert Sanford Family 

Jael had fun opening Hadassah's baptismal present from
Grammy and Gramps...a silver porringer and spoon
from Colonial Williamsburg, VA.

While making some remark about the phrase of
'being born with a silver spoon...',
Jen placed the silver spoon in Hadassah's hand. 

 Jael was not about to be out done by her baby sister...

...she did put it 'in her mouth' as if to say, "Me, too"! 

Worship began 
and soon it was time for the baptisms.

The Bob Sanford family entered on the left

and the Joshua Sanford family entered on the right. 

Pastor explains the covenant of baptism.  

It was time to take our vows.

Pastor McDonald read each one, then ask...

Joshua and Jennifer, do you? We do. 

Bob and Katherine, do you? We do.

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Matthew 28:18-20

The Joshua Sanford family goes first.

What name is given this child?
Her father responds, Hadassah Evangeline Sanford.

Hadassah Evangeline Sanford,
I baptize you in the name of the Father...

Watch the face of this little one as the pictures proceeded. 
She was not happy with what was happening to her baby sister...
until she learned it is a 'water activity' which is something she enjoys doing at home. She is holding her baby she received when Hadassah was born.

...the Son,

...and the Holy Spirit. 

May the Lord bless you and keep you...

...may the Lord make His face to shine upon you
and be gracious unto you.
may the Lord lift up his countenance upon you,
and give you peace. Amen. 

Now the focus turns to the Bob Sanford family.

What name is given this child?
His father responded, Isaiah Jon Sanford.

Isaiah Jon Sanford, I baptize you in the name of the Father... 

...and the Son... 

 ...and the Holy Spirit. 

May the Lord bless you and keep you...

What name is given this child?
Her father responded, Brianna Jocelyn Sanford. 

Brianna Jocelyn Sanford, I baptize you in the name of the Father... 

...and the Son...

 ...and the Holy Spirit. 

...may the Lord make His face to shine upon you
and be gracious unto you....

What name is given this child?
Her father responded, Olivia Jeralyn Sanford.

Olivia Jeralyn Sanford, I baptize you in the name of the Father...

...the Son...

...and the Holy Spirit.

...may the Lord lift up his countenance upon you...

What name is given this child?
His father responded, Luke Jovan Sanford

Luke Jovan Sanford, I baptize you in the name of the Father...

...and the Son 

...and the Holy Spirit. 

...and give you peace. Amen.

The four children who walked off that stage were 
different than the children who walked up.
They are now full of smiles, their hearts free. 

Their joy and happiness was made complete when 
Elder Evans served them their first communion. 

Isaiah said later, "I feel more Christian now."

After Worship, we took more pictures, 
first, our family 'at home'

then our family 'at large'! 

A young lady in our church, Grace Bandy, made the two cakes.
They were as delicious as they were beautiful!

The congregation collected in the fellowship hall, the 'Happy Birthday' was song to the birthday folks of that past week, and thanks was given for the food. It was now time to eat. 

Luke was checking to see if he would rather have what Dad had. 

Brianna, Olivia, and I enjoyed what we had chosen from the buffet line.
Olivia especially enjoyed the fried chicken!
Mrs. Debbie Blick, sitting next to Brianna, just came home with
their three children from the Philippines in January. 

We were very blessed to have Gramma and Papa come to celebrate with us! 

The other children eating with the friends... 

Gramma joined Jennifer who placed Hadassah
in her arms for the first time. It was a precious sight!

This is amazing...
Gramma and Jennifer look so much alike!

The kids had fun playing games.

 Jael had fun in the play room.

And the adult children hung out together...

...while Gramma and Jen enjoyed a lively conversation. 

To keep the day special, 
the entire family came over to the house
for fellowship and dinner.

Since pictures speak louder than a words...

Thus ended a day...

...that will always be remembered!

Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord...
Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them.
Psalm 127:3&5