Baptism of Anayah Lemalie Sheck

Water is a significant feature of our service this morning. The first instance of it is found in the gospel of Matthew chapter 14, set down as one of the lectionary texts for today. We find the disciples out in a boat while the wind is gusty, the waves choppy and battering the vessel. Out of nowhere, it would seem, Jesus appears walking on the sea towards them. The disciples are terrified. Jesus said to them, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid”. Peter attempts to walk on the water towards Jesus but succumbs to gravity and lo and behold he’s in over his head in the water. But Jesus reaches out his hand and saves him from drowning. Some biblical commentators point to this water scenario as symbolising baptism. Which brings us to the other water feature of our service-the Sacrament of Baptism! This morning’s service will feature the baptism of baby Anayah, daughter of Joe and Irene Sheck. Paragraph 7 of the UCA’s Basis of Union states:

The Uniting Church acknowledges that Christ incorporates people into his body by Baptism. In this way Christ enables them to participate in his own baptism, which was accomplished once on behalf of all in his death and burial, and which was made available to all when risen and ascended, he poured out the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Baptism into Christ’s body initiates people into Christ’s life and mission in the world so that they are united in one fellowship of love, service, suffering and joy, in one family of the Father of all in heaven and earth, and in the power of the one Spirit. The Uniting Church will baptize those who confess the Christian faith, and children who are presented for baptism and for whose instruction and nourishment in the faith the Church takes responsibility.

It is our great pleasure and honour to baptise baby Anayah. We welcome her into the church of Jesus Christ on this wonderful occasion of her baptism. Thanks be to God!