To Isaac, on your baptism day, October 7, 2012.
Isaac, Hear the words of your father.
All these dear ones, your mother and I – we can never be prouder of you, since today you said, to all the world, that Jesus is your King.
Baptism doesn’t forgive your sins. Jesus did that when you trusted Him. But He gave us baptism as a picture of His death and resurrection, and all pictures connect mysteriously to what they picture. We don’t know how this works, but we know it is true. So in this picture, somehow, you were buried with Jesus and raised with Him in new life. Hallelujah. The stone table is cracked, the law worked backward and killed the witch, the one ring is dropped into the fire of Doom. The sword is pulled from the stone and the grail is found. The princess has been kissed and the dragon has been tamed. The labrador retriever has turned sane. The corpse of the Lion is missing, for He is not here, He has risen.
And you, Isaac, are in Him, like a tender branch in a great tree.
There will be dark days. Long in the future, I hope, when most of these dear ones have gone into that silent cloud of witnesses, you may feel alone. You may even feel like Jesus is far away. It may not always feel like you are in Him, but you always will be.
Take this golden cross, placed around your neck now with your mother’s kiss, as a picture of your baptism. Let it be a picture to you that you were baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
It’s real gold, it’s not just a trinket. Your mother and I wanted to give you something worth treasuring the rest of your life, because this day is as important to us as any of your birthdays.
Let this be a picture to you when days are dark that He bought you with His blood, that He, the Great King, said He would be with you till the end. Touch this cross, and remind yourself that you belong to Him.
There will be dark days. Soon, I fear, you’ll feel that you’ve failed Him. Touch this cross, turn away from yourself. Tell Him freely how you failed, take His forgiveness in, and be at peace.
There will be dark days when you’ll be tempted to betray Him, like Edmund betrayed Aslan, and your mother and I will not always be here to encourage you. But your baptism will stay with you forever and will whisper to you that in Christ an old Isaac died, and in Christ the real Isaac lives. Timothy Isaac Smith, Jesus is your King, and He is stronger than Aragorn the heir, nobler than Theoden of the horse-lords, braver than Peter of Narnia.
You are baptized into this King of kings. Live in Him forever.
The word of the Lord. (Thanks be to God.)