This past Sunday, we had Joshua baptized. It was wonderful to see Joshua formally recognized as a part of the covenant community of God's people at Grace Presbyterian Church. I know that Joshua will remember none of it, but he was as content as could be as I held him in my arms and Pastor Ron asked us the appropriate questions and sprinkled his little forehead. God has given his covenant promises to his people, both adults and children (Acts 2:39), and as Joshua grows up, he will be reminded that the waters of baptism signify God's promise to wash away the sins of all who trust in God, confessing Christ to be their Lord and Savior.
Baptism can be a very controversial topic among Bible-believing Christians of good conscience and the two of us have talked about it at great length, not necessarily coming to unanimous conclusions. For those from a Baptist persuasion, I want to assure you that neither of us hold to the Catholic view of baptism, namely that baptism regenerates (i.e. saves) the child. That view is contrary to the Bible and we have no intentions of letting little Joshua be "lulled" into thinking that he is automatically saved just because he was baptized. On the contrary, we rely upon the grace of God to help us raise up Joshua to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, to trust in his promises, to rejoice in his grace, to obey him with a heart full of praise, and making his own profession of faith in due time. We rejoice that as part of a church community, he will be hearing God's Word proclaimed and see it lived out by both Mommy & Daddy as well as other believers. He is truly in a blessed position by God's grace (1 Corinthians 7:14)
If you'd like to read up on baptism, monergism.com offers a great wealth of articles addressing both credo baptism (believers only) and paedobaptism (infants too).
After Joshua was baptized, we all sang the hymn "Loving Shepherd of Thy Sheep". I include the lyrics below. It is a great prayerful song for our little ones that Christ would take them as his own and lovingly lead them to His Father's throne.
Loving Shepherd of Thy sheep,
All Thy lambs, in safety keep;
Nothing can Thy power withstand,
None can pluck them from Thy hand.
May they praise Thee every day,
Gladly all Thy will obey,
Like Thy blessèd ones above
Happy in Thy precious love.
Loving Shepherd, ever near,
Teach Thy lamb Thy voice to hear,
Suffer not my steps to stray
From the straight and narrow way.
Where Thou leadest may they go,
Walking in Thy steps below,
Then, before my Father’s throne
Saviour, claim them for Thine own.