One of the great opportunities of serving in a parish is the privilege of officiating at baptisms. Not only is there the joy of formally welcoming someone into the household of God, but also of our shared commitment to uphold one another in the Christian lifestyle. We share the ministry of the Body of Christ!
Also (and this part is entirely selfish): if the person being baptised is an infant, it means I get to hold a baby. And who doesn't love that? Tiny toes and fingers, adorable outfits, that perfect scent. Plus, they're the only ones who are allowed to sleep through my sermon.
One of the comments I often hear about such infants (often from my own mouth) is "what a miracle!" There's truth there. It is miraculous to celebrate life: the beauty, the joy, the potential, the love. It's a miracle!
So my question is this: when does that gorgeous baby *stop* being a miracle?
Answer: never. Our status as miracle doesn't dissipate, we don't grow out of it like our first booties, or lose it like our milk teeth. I think what happens is that we forget it.
We forget that God wanted a miracle, and so breathed life into US. We can forget that our friends and family are also God's miracles. And, too easily, we forget that the people we don't like - the ones we would rather ignore, or forget, or never have met - are also God's miracles.
But we are called to remember. Because of our baptism, we are called to remember that we are a miracle of God's creation, and live as the beloved member of the Body of Christ that we are. Because of our baptism, we are called to remember that everyone else is a miracle of God's creation - and thus respect their dignity, and seek and serve the Christ within them. Because of our baptism, we are called to remember that the whole earth is a miracle of God's creation - and so find ways to sustain and renew it.
I hope that when we renew our baptismal vows, when we live into our baptismal ministry, we celebrate that we are doing that because God has made us all a miracle in the miraculous creation. What a miracle God made you to be!