Celebrate the Godkids

It goes without saying that whenever you bless someone, you are doubly blessed.

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Posted in , Mar 18, 2015

Baptism. Photo: Thinkstock.

A celebration can be prayer and prayer can be a celebration. Last weekend we celebrated our godchildren.

Years ago we stood up in church on separate occasions and promised that we would help raise these kids to live godly lives. At the time they were squirming infants in their parents’ arms and truth to be told, we were a lot younger ourselves.

It was a singular honor to be asked to stand as their godparents, and we said yes in public prayer and pledges, one of my favorites, being asked to renounce Satan and all the spiritual forces of wickedness.

“We renounce them!” we said emphatically. How often do you get to say that?

We also promised by our prayers and witness to help these children grow into the full stature of Christ. 

“You are all God’s children through faith in Christ Jesus,” was how Paul put it. “All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” (Galatians 3:26-27)

At these baptismal ceremonies, we wore our Sunday best, but our godchildren were being clothed with something finer, better than any christening gown.

Rick, his wife and their godsons.It was somehow assumed that we would be a good influence on these kids and we’ve tried, sending them occasional birthday cards and Christmas presents and remembering them at graduations.

We got to travel a lot to see them grow up, trips to England, to the beach, to a backyard swimming pool where our children and the godchildren did competing cannon balls, looking to see who could make the biggest splash.

They’ve made big splashes in other ways, the oldest among them, Aubrey making an extraordinary documentary about amputee soccer players in Liberia, “We Stand Alone,” which had a showing at the U.N. recently.

All of them have ended up in New York City, launching their careers in their twenties, facing the challenges of work and play.

Sometimes we run into them on the streets in this busy city. “Andrew,” I call out, “what are you doing here on West 43rd Street?” Heading to a squash game, as it turned out. (He was a champion player on his college team.)

They are all champions in their way, and we can really claim no credit for that. But didn’t we promise all those years ago to help them grow in the full stature of Christ? Shouldn’t we do more of that?

So recently we invited them all to dinner. Alas, the one girl among them, Sarah, couldn’t join us because of a business trip, but the three godsons came.

We dined well–Carol is an excellent cook–and listened to what they were doing. It was thrilling for us. And a thrill to remember how, not so long ago, they were squirming in their parents’ arms.

It goes without saying that whenever you bless someone, you are doubly blessed. We asked God to bless them, and we have been much blessed in return, triply blessed as this photo shows.

Whether you grow up in a faith tradition that has official godparents or not (I didn’t), know that as a parent there are others who would relish the opportunity to share in your burden and blessing.

This pair of godparents certainly has.

 

I’ll be doing a Guideposts chat during Holy Week on Thursday, April 2, to talk about and hear about your favorite Bible verses. Join me on Twitter @Rick_HamlinAs always, we’ll have some books to give away .

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