This year a fun convergence of feast-celebrations is happening in our household. My eldest son’s baptism anniversary is June 25th. The Feast of the Nativity of John the Baptist is June 24th…but since that falls on a Sunday this year, it is observed on June 25th.
So, this Monday we will Feast in honor of the birth of John the Baptist, that wild locust-eating man who recognized Jesus from the womb, and then later at the Jordan River. Many of Jesus’ early followers began by following John the Baptist – the idea of rebirth in water, in preparing for the new kingdom of God by starting anew – this is central to our faith.
And, this Monday, my family will celebrate when my son joined our church family through Baptism – we will go out for pizza, and I will make a special Oreo cake. He will get a small gift, with a religious theme. (This year, it’s a Little People Nativity Scene).
I can’t take credit for this idea of celebrating ones Baptism anniversary – I heard it in a sermon at my church. It was an aside from the priest – how if becoming part of Christ’s church through baptism is a sacrament we all share, then perhaps we should all remember the day of our Baptism as we would our birthday.
I will take credit for running with it. My kids now expect this celebration each year. We were on vacation with my Jewish in-laws last summer, and my youngest son still got his Baptism Anniversary Celebration. (Which the non-baptized members of our family were really good sports about – it was a lot of fun!)
As an adult, I enjoy the cake and I do often buy myself a little churchy gift – one year a travel bible, the next a lovely advent calendar, and this year I have a rather long list of books I want to read as part of my discernment and I plan to buy a few.
I also re-read the baptismal covenant. This was made on my behalf as an infant, and I renew it each time I witness a baptism (so, a good 10-15 times a year). I roll the words over on my tongue (this year “Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?” seems especially poignant).
And so, I invite you, to celebrate your Re-birth day. Feast. Enjoy. Reflect. Renew.
If you’re like many people in our church, and were baptized as an infant – you may not know your Baptism Anniversary. Look up the date, and the presiding priest. I reached out on Facebook to the priest who baptized me last year on my anniversary, and it was fun to offer her felicitations of the day as an adult. Create a feast ritual for yourself. Buy yourself a small gift. This is a day worthy of celebration!