Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

Youth Page

Written by Mr. Peter Langbroek
Have you ever held a baby? Let's pretend he is your brother (for some this is true). It's Sunday after church. Your brother is in your arms as you sit on the couch. "Make sure your arm is under his head," Mother says. She pulls the long white lacy dress straight. The baby is sleeping. Such tiny fingers, you notice. "I hope he grows up quick so we can play together," you think.

The living room is full of aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. "Does anyone want more coffee?" asks Aunt Sonya, holding a full coffee pot. Your Mom is passing out cookies.

Why, may I ask, is everyone visiting? Because the baby was baptized! What does that mean?

The baby was baptized when the minister dripped water on your brother's forehead, and said, "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen."

You saw how your brother's face wrinkled when the water splashed on him, how your Mom and Dad looked at him. But, may I ask, have you thanked God for that moment?

Why? I'll tell you a Christmas story. Mary and Joseph were in the temple with forty-day old Jesus. They were carrying a cage with two pigeons, waiting to sacrifice them to God. They also waited for a priest to circumcise Jesus. As they waited, an old man, Simeon (a stranger to them) came to look at the baby. He took the baby in his arms. He looked up, praised God, and exclaimed:

Lord, now lettest Thou thy servant depart in peace according to
Thy Word: For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast
prepared before the face of all people. A light to lighten the
Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel (Luke 2:29-32).

Joseph and Mary marvelled. God had spoken to Simeon!

They marvelled more when a godly old woman, Anna, walked over. She spoke of the baby as the Redeemer, the Messiah the prophets had spoken about.

Joseph and Mary had much to think about when they returned to Bethlehem. In Mary's arms was their Saviour, God's salvation for mankind.

Children, I know of no baby being held as special as that moment when Simeon held Jesus. Simeon, moved by the Holy Spirit, revealed who Jesus was, what He'd do, and what He continues to do today: save sinners from their sin.

This child, which Simeon held in his arms, has shed His blood to wash away sins. He made your brother's baptism, your baptism, and the baptism of anyone who truly believes, so special, so holy. At baptism God promises the washing away of our sins. He promises He will be your God, and you will be His child. Children, when you hold your baby brother after baptism, marvel! Praise God like Anna and Simeon.

What does baptism have to do with Christmas? It has everything to do with Christmas!

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