Wednesday, September 22, 2021

A Baptismal Hymn

 Unlike most Baptists and many others in the larger Evangelical world, the Church of the Nazarene, in her Articles of faith and elsewhere, clearly identifies Baptism and the Lord's Supper (Holy Communion / the Eucharist) as sacraments and as means of grace.  That is to say, they are not mere ordinances.  Nor are they merely my testimony, my work.  Rather, they are God's testimony, God's work.  That is to say, God is present and at work in and through them, pouring out God's very grace to us.  -  This understanding is consistent with our Wesleyan theological tradition.

During my praying of this morning's Daily Office, I finished up (once again) the hymns in Wesley Hymns, edited by Ken Bible.  The hymnal concludes with a marvelous little hymn that would be just wonderful if sung as the Church is preparing to baptize.  It is, in fact, a prayer for God to be at work in the sacrament, and as such, it would be especially helpful for those Nazarene congregations that have been overly influenced by the Baptists and "generic" Evangelical belief system when it comes to Baptism.  -  The hymn is titled, "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost," and the words are as follows:

Father, Son, and Holy Ghost

1. Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
In solemn pow'r come down!
Present with Thy heav'nly host,
Thine ordinance to crown,
See a sinful soul of earth!
Bless to him the cleansing flood!
Plunge him, by a second birth, 
Into the depths of God.

2. Let the promised inward grace
Accompany the sign;
On this newborn soul impress
The character divine!
Father, all Thy name reveal;
Jesus, all Thy name impart;
Holy ghost, renew and dwell
Forever in his heart!

(By the way, if one is only baptizing female candidates, I would suggest that it would be completely appropriate to change the pronouns used for the baptismal candidates.)

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