Monday, October 10, 2005

Sonnets, Will, and Pneumopaedobaptism

Gerard Manley Hopkins is one of my favorite poets, and I recently found an Italian sonnet he wrote with which I was unfamiliar. My discovery came through the Eugene Peterson book, Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places, which was released this year. The title of the book is a line from the sonnet. (By the way, it is an excellent book on spiritual theology and I would highly recommend it.)

Will wore an orange plaid shirt and looked very handsome as he participated in his pneumopaedobaptism (child dedication ceremony) at church yesterday. I read the Hopkins poem, which contrasts how natural objects - kingfishers, dragonflies, stones, strings, bells - sing themselves while humanity ought to justice and grace. I want to show Will how to justice and grace in his world, and how to let Christ play through him.

It was one of those moments, however, as my baptism was, that was immersed in irony. Baptism is such a beautiful symbol of union with, of membership in, of identification with Christ and his body. The Sunday I was baptised came on the heels of the fellowship/denomination I was then a part of splitting over the issue of, well, baptism. In the same way, Will's air-baptism happened even as we learned of the dissolution of our baby church plant. As our mother congregation covenanted to raise Will in the fear-of-the-Lord, we understood that we would not be a part of this community much longer either - unless the Lord moves us closer than 40 minutes away.

The ironies, incidentally, don't bother me much. To me they point to something redeemed in the midst of brokenness, rather than something broken in the midst of redemption. It was a beautiful ceremony, and I wish all of you could have witnessed it.

1 comment:

Jamie Dawn said...

Beautifully written.