“The promise,” Peter says, “is to you, and your children, and to those who are far off.” The promise of baptism is one grounded in the purposes of God in all of creation. In the beginning, God created a world with darkness, but as the portrait of creation is painted by the great Creator/Artist, Yahweh fills his world with colors, light, and life. At this stage, Aliza can only see bits and pieces of the love of God for her; she can see this love manifested through her father and mother and her family. She sees previews of the big picture. But as Aliza grows and as her faith matures, she will begin to see more and more of the great purpose she will play in this great story filled with colors, light and life. Baptism is not symbolic of what she will have; it is a seal of what she already possesses. God is her God.
The promise God made to this little one is a promise, which will be lived out from this day forward. From this day forward, baptism will not just be a random event that happened in infancy, but an event that marks the transition from the darkness of creation to the light of God’s splendor. The Belgic Confession says it well when it summarizes the nature of baptism:
By (baptism) we are received into God’s church…that we may be dedicated entirely to him, bearing his mark and sign. It also witnesses to us that he will be our God forever, since he is our gracious Father.
In baptism, little Aliza is receiving the gracious benediction of God upon her. From this day, Yahweh will bless and keep her, cause his face to shine upon her and be gracious to her and lift up his pleasing smile upon her for his sake and for the sake of the kingdom.
Caleb and Carey, baptism imposes great responsibility on Aliza, but it also fills you with a great obligation: the obligation to instruct in her in the Trinitarian faith and the obligation to imitate Jesus Christ in her presence. But in all these things, God will provide you with care and wisdom both through His Holy Word and through participation in this holy communion of his Church. The promise is for you and your children. Rejoice in this truth!