Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (KJV)
Isaiah 11:6 – The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. (KJV)
[Editor's Note: Although those of the Reformed tradition baptize infants while those of the Anabaptist and other traditions dedicate infants, the point of this devotional about including older children is the same in either case.]
The week after we celebrated communion was Baptismal Sunday. At the children's story I asked the Sunday School class to join me and sit in the front pew. The Spirit of God must have rested on us that morning because the baby cried all through the first part of the service but settled into my arms without a whimper for the baptism. After the baptism I took the baby and knelt before the Sunday School and showed him to them. Then I walked the baby through the congregation as they sang the last hymn. The looks and actions of the people as they smiled and touched the baby's hands brought tears to my eyes and the eyes of many others in the service.
Suddenly the words of the scriptures had entirely new meaning for me. The words of the baptismal hymn we used came to life also.
- A little child the Saviour came,
The mighty God was still his name;
And angels worshipped as He lay
The seeming infant of a day
We bring them, Lord, and with the sign
Of sprinkled water name them thine
Their souls with saving grace endow;
Baptize them with Thy Spirit now.
Prayer: Lord, as you were baptized so we baptize our children. Help us to realize that by including older children in this sacrament we help them to remember their baptism. As they remember their baptism it also helps us to remember ours also. May we always see you in the eyes of the children as we include them in worship. Amen.