Sharing Our Faith Together

The Family of Faith

by Ruth Croft 16 July 2023

We are celebrating two baptisms in our morning service today and we have our children’s Holiday Club coming up in ten days time. Both of these events have set me thinking about a phrase used at a special church anniversary service I was invited to attend a few weeks ago.

The anniversary service was attended by a wide range of people connected to that particular church over the past fifty years. Some of them still attend regularly, some like me, attend other places of worship and some have drifted away from the church altogether. However, the minister described us all as a family of faith. 

The dictionary describes a family as “coming from a single ancestor”, so our knowledge of God as our heavenly Father  and our involvement with the church, suggests that we are indeed a family of faith. 

A belief in God enables anyone to be part of the family and baptism is a formal introduction into that family of faith. It is perhaps most common for parents to offer their children for baptism but it is available to people of any age, with the opportunity to make a full commitment to Christ at a later date.

Paul explains this in his letter to the Galatians. The Message puts it like this-
By faith in Christ you are in direct relationship with God. Further, your baptism in Christ was not just scrubbing you up for a fresh start. It also involved dressing you in an adult faith wardrobe—Christ’s life, the fulfillment of God’s original promise. That is further affirmed by members of the congregation promising to support and pray for those being baptised.

One version of the baptismal service for children includes the following reminder to parents.
From this day your child will have a home in the Christian community, and there will always be a place for them in the household of God.

This was beautifully demonstrated at the special service I attended and in the  Christian fellowship and joint experiences we had shared. So as we approach today’s service and our Holiday Club, we each have a responsibility to encourage others to become part of the family of faith, to establish that direct relationship with God and provide ongoing support to nurture it to full commitment. This means regular, persistent prayer, acts of kindness and a life in God’s service. The size of the task can sometimes seem very daunting, but our confident response should always be “With God’s help, we will!” 

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