We find ourselves intersecting with people at critical pinpoints in their lives—baptisms, weddings, wakes. Moments of arrival and departure, beginnings and endings. But there’s something about baptisms that sets them apart. The liturgy isn’t the most elegant—frankly, it’s a lot of the minister just talking, reading prayer after prayer after prayer—but it comes without all the theatrics of a wedding or the agonizing emotion of a wake. It is pure happiness, dabbed with oil and splashed with water. It’s new. It’s powerful—a shot of grace in the middle of a Sunday afternoon. It’s raucous. And it’s unpredictable—babies are as prone to laughing as they are to bawling when they get hit with the water—and from time to time, gazing into the faces of proud new parents, you can’t help but glimpse their own wonder and joy. This is something, they seem to be thinking. Really something.
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