Sunday, January 10, 2016

Remembering my baptism

Granddad Beal and me; 1941
I don't often discuss my beliefs in my blog, but I am making an exception today. This post is about my Christianity....Methodism and family. You see, unless I miss calculated, one branch of our family has been Methodist for the last 150 years...or more. It's not about being better than other belief systems, but it is about legacy and connection.

Yearly, Methodists are reminded of their baptism. Perhaps it is because most of us are baptized...brought into the infants. We are asked to simply remember the significance of the occasion. The only physical connection I have of mine is this picture and, of course, my baptismal certificate. The picture was taken on "my day" and is the only picture I have of Granddad Beal and me. He died when I was seven and my memory of him is chair, calling grandma "Mother" and of course Christmas-time...his last in 1947. But...on the day this picture was taken, my baptism, he was focused on me and the possibilities of my life. That is what I call a blessing.

Today, when asked to remember my baptism I thought of this picture of Pop-Pop and me. Remember the old song, "Old time religion"? It is my guide when my faith falters at times...."if it is good enough for your (mother, father, or in this case grandfather), it's good enough for me." Somehow, people in my family who loved me, protected me, and reared me knew what I know, lived in a different time than I, but they fundamentally believed what I believe. Don't get me wrong, there are some differences that 75 years of experience has revealed (as per John Wesley's Quadralateral, which you can Google), but belief that we are put on this earth to love, show compassion, and to share has not changed.
Whipple Dam 1952

I was also recalled the picture to the left, which has little to do with my baptism, although they were all there and basically share my belief system. I thought of it because they all three nurtured me and for that I am most grateful. Dave, Jim, Joe and of the few pictures when the four Lutz boys (off-spring of Dorothy and Raymond) were together at the same time.
How can I not remember these big guys in such a setting? Whipple Dam is located near State College, PA and the occasion was the graduation of the two big dudes from Penn State.

What does this all have to do with remembering my baptism? It is a time for reflection...for recalling...who was "God for me" over the years. We are asked to nurture those who are baptized in our community...and so off and on over many years I think of Joe, Dave and Jim serving in this capacity in my life.

Who is God for you?

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