And it shall come to pass afterward,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
and your young men shall see visions.
Even on the male and female servants
in those days I will pour out my Spirit. Joel 2
Do you see it? Do you see it in your child? Do you see evidence of faith in Jesus? Do you see awe in their eyes as they consider their powerful God?
Do you hear it? Do you hear it from your child? Do you hear them speak of God’s great love? Do you hear them speak truths from the scriptures?
Is anyone too young for faith? The prophet Joel and a host of others from scripture do not seem to invoke any mandatory starting point for a child being led by the Spirit to believe in their creator and in His Son, the Savior.
And that is why I ask. Because I see and hear evidence of faith from all the ages of children at SPLS. And it is a beautiful thing.
And if we really listen, we can learn from them. Jesus said to model our faith after that of a little child. You see. Faith. In a little child. It is there.
In our Lutheran Church, as in most churches since Christ’s time here among us, we have recognized that children have faith. And that, as Paul says, faith is a gift. And that, as was done with the Centurion’s household, all people can and should receive the blessings of baptism, regardless of age.
We celebrate with young families who bring their children to the baptismal font in flowing gowns. We celebrate with the SPLS student who announces his or her baptism on a coming Sunday. We celebrate with the parent or grandparent who discovers this great gift and claims it, better late than never.
But in all cases, let us remember that baptism, as described in scripture, is so much more than a symbolic act. It confers grace, and when faith was not already there, it plants faith. In the old and in the young.
In His Children’s Service, Robert C. Boyd