Three years ago today, I had one of the most meaningful and fulfilling experiences as a father — I performed my kids’ baptism.
The baptism took place at the Live Oak Vineyard, where we had been attending for awhile. I want to thank Pastor Steve and Pastor Floyd again for letting this ex-pastor have one last “pastoral fling” and baptize his children.
Little did I know that our spiritual journey as a family would soon take us around a corner and into the Orthodox Church.
As I mentioned in my original post about my children’s baptism, the event is a powerful reminder to me that my children belong to Christ first and foremost. He will always be with them, even when I cannot.
And the event is also a reminder that my children are part of Christ’s Church. I am moved during Divine Liturgy when I watch my kids receive the Eucharist. I am thrilled by the knowledge that they will grow up in the fullness of Christ’s life that resides in the Orthodox Church.
There is a beautiful prayer in the Orthodox Prayer Book that I use when I pray for my kids. It summarizes their baptism and everything I could desire for them as their father:
O God, our heavenly Father, Who lovest mankind, and art most merciful and compassionate, have mercy upon our children, Thy servants, for whom I humbly pray Thee, and commend them to Thy gracious protection. Be Thou, O God, their guide and guardian in all their endeavors; lead them in the path of Thy truth, and draw them near to Thee, that they may lead a godly and righteous life in Thy love and fear; doing Thy will in all matters. Give them grace that they may be temperate, industrious, diligent, devout and charitable. Defend them against the assaults of the enemy, and grant them wisdom and strength to resist all temptation and corruption of this life; and direct them in the way of salvation, for the merits of Thy Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, and the intercessions of His Holy Mother, and Thy blessed saints. Amen.