Sunday, June 8, 2008

Reid's Baptism Song

I won't ever capture all the facets of the sacred 2 hour period of time last Saturday. They will certainly reflect in my thoughts for years to come as they spill out of my memory. Starting now...

To sing is to pray twice. Augustine Hippo

I love this quotation as it relates to children on the autism spectrum, many of whom sing before they talk. Others sing and never talk. No matter, they can still pray. Prayer is two-way communication with God. It encompasses both talking (with the mouth and/or the heart) and listening (with the heart and/or the ears).

Typically, as part of baptism a new member writes a statement of faith or testimony and reads it to the gathered community. This would have been a challenge for Reid. Singing comes more easily. So with the help of his music teacher, Angela, he wrote a song. Ironically, when Angela was confirmed back in Iowa as a teen, she had done the same thing. That was the first song she had ever written in her life, but not the last. I find that a wonderful sign of God anointing her future path as a music therapist, worship leader, and singer songwriter. She has many songs to her credit now but the first was her statement of faith. Reid's song started as a simple 5 Wh ?'s outline (who, what, where, when why?) and became this:

This Is What I Believe

Verse One
I am a sinner, my name is Reid
A Saviour is what I need
I make mistakes and do things that are bad
I hurt others and make them sad

So Jesus died on a cross for me
But he did not stay on that tree
He rose again from the grave
All the world he came to save

This is what I believe

Jesus died for me

I will live eternally

This is what I believe

Verse Two
I am faithfully and wonderfully made
To God I will always pray
Neither death or the angels above
Could separate me from His love

With the Father, Spirit, and Son
Baptized into God's family as one
Down in the water I go
Raised again for the world to know

I am alive in Christ
I am alive in Christ
I am alive in Christ
I am alive in Christ

During the baptism, our pastor, Josh Kerkhoff, called on those of us standing in a circle to pray aloud for Reid. One of our friends, Kathleen, who is many things including poetic, prayed something to this effect: Lord, you are the Word and today you are present here in word and in song. I ask that you will communicate with Reid as he is dunked under the waves in a miraculous way with the music of all the angels in heaven. A beautiful sentiment and a prayer which God heard.

Later that night as we sat on our patio eating leftover salads from the beach, I asked Reid, "so what was it like when Josh dunked you underwater?" He simply said, "it was like a symphony." Nothing more, nothing less. He was a boy of few words and now is a young man who still doesn't mince them. He often doesn't answer a question, especially an open-ended one like that. This time he answered and so had God!

God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins. Colossians 2:12-14

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1

Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his heavenly hosts. Psalm 148:1-3

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Psalm 19:1-3

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