...to Jesus. Today Charis was baptized at our church, Hope Community. It was such a special day. I have come to better understand what infant baptism really means. We don't believe she's a Christian yet, but that she's set apart and that God will pursue her. She'll have to consciously make an effort to walk apart from God. And from mine and Adam's story, this is hard to do: God has relentlessly pursued us and we trust He'll do the same for Charis. At our church it is custom for the parents to pronounce a blessing, and we'd like to share what the Lord spoke to us in this past week for Charis. We are so thankful for our family and friends that shared this special day with us. And we are even more thankful for this beautiful little lady that is our daughter, whom God has given us.
Charis Root Patwa, one translation of your name means “that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm and loveliness.” And your mother and I can attest that this is what you brought to our lives. We are constantly in awe of our capacity to love you and the intensity for which we feel this love. Yet, we realize that we are only capable of this love because of God and his love for us. And our hope is that you will know his love for you – that you are something he delights in. However, there are many distractions and imitations you’ll encounter.
For instance, when it comes to school and work, you may excel, accruing a litany of achievements that allow you to feel overly secure in your own abilities. Or you may struggle to keep up with your peers, never to break into the more exclusive social circles. Regardless of these likely possibilities, Charis, we want you to know that you are created for a purpose, never intended to float aimlessly through life, but created to live a full life that brings God glory.
And when it comes to your physical appearance, it’s quite possible that you may struggle with your body image, constantly comparing yourself to what you see around you. Or, on the other hand, you may use your beauty as a weapon or commodity to manipulate those around you. Regardless of this, please know Charis that Jesus loves you and sees a beautiful woman made to bear the image of our creator.
And when it comes to community, you may struggle with relationships, never feeling secure in them, or you may find yourself constantly giving too much, only to be left disappointed and hurt. But remember Charis, you were made for a special relationship, one with the creator of the universe, a relationship that will allow you to freely love and be loved by those around you.
Charis, your mother and I believe God will pursue you through all these and many other distractions. We can’t promise you a smooth life; we can’t promise you fame and fortune; sadly, we can’t even promise that your deepest desires will be met in this life --- but what we can promise you is that God will relentlessly pursue you. He really is our only hope for righteousness, and we hope to point you towards Him all of our days together.
And now Charis, we leave you with this Scripture from Ephesians 3: 16-19. Paul writes, “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being. So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love may have power together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.