The following article was published in the Church Section of today’s edition of The Plainville Times.
Winnie the Pooh once told Christopher Robin that bears have two birthdays. With respect to the famous bear, I am going to amend that to say that Christians always have two birthdays. The first is the one everyone celebrates, it is the day that you were born to your parents, whether it was a few years ago or whether it was many years ago. In this birth you got a mom and a dad, and a certain number of brothers and sisters.
It is also the birthday that everyone remembers. It is the one that you get gifts on. It is the one that you may dread as it approaches. It is the birthday that shows up on your driver’s license and the one that goes on the calendar.
But you also have another birthday; one that is not always so celebrated as the years pass by, but one that is no less important. It is your baptismal birthday, the day when water was poured over your forehead and the pastor said ‘I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.’
When you were baptized you became a child of God, and as His child you became an heir of all the blessings and promises that have been made to all believers of the forgiveness of sins and eternal life in heaven.
You also joined a family that includes the entire Christian Church on earth. Those Christians in Africa that you have never met, and those fellow believers that sit in the front pew on Sunday morning that you have known your entire life are now your brothers and sisters in Christ.
And unlike the birth that you only celebrate once a year, you celebrate your baptismal birthday every day when you wake up and make the sign of the cross; you celebrate every Sunday when you hear the pastor declare that your sins are forgiven; and you celebrate it every time you pray to your Father in heaven.
Your baptismal birthday may not be marked with gifts and cake, but it is marked with the forgiveness of sins and eternal life. Take a moment this week to remember your baptism, and all of the blessings that God has given to you through your baptism.