October 14, 2011

Rebirth Through the Water of Holy Baptism

Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

(John 3:1-16 ESV)
Before our baby was born, Adrian and I decided to do things a bit differently than the rest of the world is used to. We agreed that her name would not be announced until her baptism.
Adrian even wrote a newsletter article about this, which you can find here.

While I was pregnant with this baby, Adrian and I had a very difficult time deciding on names, especially girl names. We dug through baby name books, did a little online name searching, asked friends and family for advice.... and still, we were without a name. Sure, there were plenty of names that we could've chosen, but none of them really stuck out to us. In the past, we'd always just come up with a name for this baby, agreed upon it, and that was that.

So, as I was rounding out the 36th week of pregnancy, it just so happened that we had a chance to visit with Dr. Kleinig and his wife, Claire, for a few days. We, of course, consulted with him about a name for this baby. And he gave us one! It was just so strange how it all happened to come about. It was like God was working through the Kleinig's to give us this name for the baby...
And, so, the name Renata was chosen. We picked Claire for the middle name because it seemed appropriate and I was pretty adamant about it!

Renata. It's of Latin origin and means "Reborn".

Now, it was interesting to see everyone's reaction to the fact that we weren't going to share her name until her baptism. And, it truly led to some rather interesting dialogue about infant baptism with the nurses and my doctor. I doubt they have that conversation with too many families...
It also caused a bit of a "build up" in anticipation for her baptism. The children could hardly wait for her to receive her new name. Our friends and family were equally excited.

Grandma wrapped the girls hair in curlers Saturday night, just so that they would have a special "do" for the big day!

So, this past Sunday, little Renata Claire was truly reborn through the waters of Holy Baptism. And, when her name was announced for the first time, it was in the midst of our parishoners, in the house of God. That moment was something I don't think I'll ever forget.

Our friend, Angelique, was kind enough to take pictures for us after Sunday School. We looked a bit dishelved by then, but that's nothing new! She took a ton of photos, I only posted the first three here because they were the best.

Here's one of us all with Grandma Sherrill. So happy she could be here for the baptism.

Here we all are with Renata's sponsors, Kevin and Vicki. Her other sponsors, John and Claire, couldn't be with us in person.

We rejoice that little Renata Claire is a child of God!!!

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