Saturday, February 13, 2016

Day 4: Saturday: Present at the baptism

… at six days he was baptised in the bath, totally immersed by one of seven Independent Dissenting Brethren. At eight days his foreskin was snipped off, as the Bible ordained.
    He didn’t miss it, didn’t complain. A look of surprise accompanied the immersion, a frown followed the circumcision.
    The seven Dissenters present at the baptism were Mr Halliday, Mr House, Mr Fowler, Mr Gardiner, Mrs Rokeby, Mrs Lichfield, and one only recently admitted to the inner fellowship circle, Mr Fox. They made a crowd in the modest bathroom of the old house …
    Mr Halliday prayed. The first song was:

‘When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride.’

    Mr House spoke, then the little baptism ended with,

‘Love divine all loves excelling.’

sung, as before, without accompaniment. The visitors left a smell of discreet perfume, together with a faint aroma of expensive woollen winter suits. The Lord prospered the Dissenting Brethren. As they left, Aunt Ursula observed that a little of some people goes a long way.

Who was in your faith community at your baptism? Members of your family? Members of a church? Other Christians? Pray for your faith community: the one present at your baptism, and the one in which you participate now.

Extra: To listen to ‘When I survey the wondrous cross,’ click here.

Reading from David Ireland Bloodfather (Ringwood, Vic: Penguin, 1987), 3-4. 
Gentle reminder: Lent does not include Sundays. The next reading will be on Monday.

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