Jun 28, 2005

Baptism of Elias Isaac

Elias Isaac Montoya, Luz Maria's youngest grandchild, was baptized June 26, 2005, in La Caramuca. It was the first baptism on this site, but we hope not the last. Most of the children in our Sunday school classes have not been baptized. Because the baptism was conducted outdoors on our patio, a number of these children were able to witness this sacrament.

Pastor Edgar Brito of Corpus Christi Lutheran Church in Barinas performed the ceremony. He has assumed the responsibility of administering the Word and sacraments to us here as a mission of Corpus Christi. Elias was presented for baptism by his parents, Yepci and Eliezer, and by godparents Wuendy and Jesús Mogollon (Wuendy is also Luz Maria's daughter).

Let me digress a moment and talk about my role as Elias' personal trainer. I hold him up by the shoulders as he attempts to "walk." This constitutes a little exercise for him and a lot for me, especially because every so often I must swing him up into the air so he thinks he is taking a big flying leap. My reward for this is at the end he sings me a song. The song consists of "da, da, da, da, da" repeated endlessly. Of course, his normal "talk" consists of "da, da, da, da, da" as well. But when he sings he goes "da, da, da, da, da" at a higher pitch and flaps his tiny arms up and down.

I mention this because it brings to mind the words of Mark 10:14-15: "..."Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them, for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it."

On our "walks" together, Elias shows a great capacity for faith. How does he know I am strong enough to hold him up? What evidence does he have that I won't play him a cruel trick and let him fall on his face? Likewise, does he really understand why his mother, his father, his grandmother and others so much stronger and capable would care for such a frail and helpless little thing? Perhaps not, but he can accept the fact that they do.

Also, he shows plenty of desire to walk, talk and sing, although not only has hwe not perfected any of these skills, he certainly has no consciousness of what he is trying to do. Similarly it was possible for Elias to respond to God's grace in baptism even though he was not able to form words for himself. God provided him parents and godparents to speak for him and, most important, through the action of the Holy Spirit Himself claimed this small life as His own.

Those of us who no longer require human parents to attend to our every need remain wholly dependent on God. It is God's strength that holds us up and keeps us from falling in our daily walks with Him. And the Lord willing, it is through His power, not our own, that we take giant leaps forward.

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