Baptism is a threshold experience. It’s about moving through a doorway from one room to another, from one space to another, from one community to another. The baptismal service is the moment you stand on the threshold. But you don’t stay there. Before baptism, people belong to the community of their family and are beloved of God. After baptism, they still belong to the community of their family – and God still loves them. But now they also belong to a larger community- a vast extended family known as the Church. Just like the rooms on each side of the doorway, both communities exist before and after the baptism. Yet the baptism, both communities are changed. The church community gains a member. The family community , including the newly baptized, is embrace by a larger community within which they are invited to live a life of faith. After all, the Church is the gathered community of all the baptized. Those who have been baptized now know both communities. They’ve gained a wider understanding of the people of God. And with the arrival of a new member, the people of God know a little more about who they are.

– Anne E. Kitch

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