Annabelle, I don’t think you are going to understand what I am going to tell you this morning.
But I hope your mummy and daddy and granny and granddad and uncles and all the rest will remember a wee bit of it and tell you from time to time.
Because today I want to tell you that you are unique.
You are special.
Of all the people who have come and gone on the earth, since the beginning of time, not ONE of them is like YOU!
No one’s hair grows exactly the way yours does.
No one’s finger prints are like yours.
And just like your fingerprints, your lips have little markings on them, little grooves in the skin … and everyone has a different pattern, so no one’s lips are like yours.
No one smells just like you.
And no one’s eyes are just like yours.
No one is loved by the same combination of people that love you – NO ONE!
No one before, no one to come.
And as you grow up I want you to enjoy that uniqueness.
You do not have to pretend in order to seem more like someone else.
You weren’t meant to be like someone else.
You do not have to lie to conceal the parts of you that are not like what you see in anyone else.
You were meant to be different.
And if you did not exist, there would be a hole in creation, a gap in history, something missing from the plan for humankind.
Treasure your uniqueness.
It is a gift given only to you.
Enjoy it and share it!
So many people these days feel like they are nothing more than a number on a computer card somewhere in a government file.
But God says you are more than that.
You’re a special design.
You were made special.
Because that is the way God created you.
You are different.
You are not just a number.
And because you’re different … YOU are important.
Maybe not important to the government but you are important to God.
Because He is the one who designed you.
He is the one who made you different.
He is the one who made you unique.
(Along with your mummy and daddy of course.)
Scientists have only just recently discovered how unique and special each one of us is — how special you are.
But God has known this all the time.
God knows all about you.
She knows what you need.
She knows what you feel and what you think.
She knows exactly what you have done.
And She loves you in a way that is only for you.
Because God made you special, She has a special interest in you.
Her love is for you and it is special.
Her plan for you and your life is unique too.
That’s something worth thinking about.
I have a little present for you.
It is a zebra.
Because recently I found out that all zebras are unique – just like you.
Each zebra has different stripes so mummy and daddy zebra can tell which is their baby in a crowd of baby zebras.
Each baby zebra is unique and special.
So mummy and daddy Gray have the job of telling you all about the stripey zebra and why it is unique.
And they will also tell you how special you are, because that’s what mummies and daddies do too.
And to finish I have another surprise.
Because each bubble is unique too.
There are no two bubbles the same.
Each one is a different size or shape or colour.
Each is special.
Each is unique.
Just like you.
24 thoughts on “Baby Annabelle’s baptism sermon”
Oh Ruthie, that is … [no words adequate] … [tries anyway] … just absolutely the most beautiful thing I have read for a jolly long time. Actually trying not to weep for the sheer loveliness of it. Thank you, thank you, for posting this. x
It wasn’t quite so lovely on the day. The zebra rather let us down, being a rather grotty zebra which was Fair Trade and that’s about the only nice thing we could say about it. And baby Annabelle couldn’t care less about bubbles, it would appear! Now if my bubble machine had been working that would have been different…
this is simply beautiful! Would you be open to me borrowing bits?
Of course. I’m sure I did!
Love the bubbles _ can see me using that in the future!
Very lovely affirmation!
I’m now on the look out for a lovely zebra for my next baptism!!!!!
Let me know if you find a nice one!
thanks for this – and to Nik for sharing it. It has truly inspired me – so much so I have ordered up a bubble machine! Is it ok with you if I ‘borrow’ the uniquely made theme?! I’m including the wonderful mid section of Ps 139 in the service on Sunday – my first infant baptism in my present charge
Of course. Love the idea of including Ps 139 in it too.
I agree is lovely and it will help for a dear friend who has just died and her funeral is tomorrow.
Yes, I’ve used a version for a funeral before too.
Dear Ruth this is so brilliant. I certainly couldn’t put it better myself so I’m nicking it wholesale for a baptism tomorrow. Hope that’s OK. I have a great Zebra from Sainsbury’s in case you need a source for a future use.
Thanks for the zebra tip. I’ll need to go to the big city to find a Sainsbury’s that does toys but I will look out for them!
Inspiring – love the gender specific language for God, and as I read your words they brought to mind Psalm 139 which I then saw mentioned by Julie – great idea for a baptism passage. Likewise if you don’t mind, think I might pinch your thoughts. Bless you.
Thank you for your nice comments. Now trying to come up with something different for Annabelle’s sister Roslynne…
I am Adam and live in Canada and am a minister within the Presbyterian Church. Your “Baby Annabelle’s baptism sermon” is the best baptism message I have ever heard. I have to admit that I have used some parts of it for one of my recent baptism sermon. The congregation loved it. I acknowledge that some of the ideas were coming from you. I have a baptism coming up this Sunday – a 6 months old little girl – but I am struggling with putting together a good meditation. Can you help me out?
Thank you so much, Adam, for your kind comments. that was the first one I’d done in that style but here is her sister’s one if that sparks off something for you…
It is lovely to see so many people here today.
For those of you who are visitors, I would like to tell you that I always begin a baptism sermon with a baptism joke.
My only problem is that there are not that many baptism jokes and those there are, are pretty corny.
And my poor little flock have now heard them all – sometimes more than once.
But that will not deter me – a baptism joke you shall have.
Once upon a time, a priest asks the mother what the baby’s name is to be.
The reply is ‘Homer’.
‘I do hope’ says the priest ‘ that he is to be named after the Greek poet – the author of the Iliad- and not that dreadful TV cartoon character!’
‘Oh, neither’ , replies the puzzled mother;’ his faither keeps pigeons.’
When you go away today I want you to remember two things about my sermon.
(And one of them is not that bad joke.)
No, today I want you to remember that I spoke about love.
Love and penguins.
That’s what I want you to remember when you leave Christ Church.
And here is a penguin with a baby penguin.
Today baby Roslynn is going to be baptised into the Christian family and our wee flock here in Christ Church.
Because of the love her family have for her, they have brought her here today with friends and family to say ‘we love her, will you love her too?’
And we at Christ Church are very good at loving babies, aren’t we?
And this all got me thinking of penguins.
Have you seen the John Lewis’ Christmas advert this year?
It is all about penguins.
And it is all about love.
Everyone is talking about it.
And that reminded me of a story someone in this congregation told me recently…
that God is like a penguin.
At least I think that’s kind of what he said.
I don’t know if you know much about penguins but they are pretty good at giving unconditional love to their own little ones.
And when the mummy penguin lays her egg it is not her who looks after it until it hatches.
No, that is daddy’s job.
In fact, the daddy penguin has to look after the egg for at least three months in the coldest weather imaginable.
Forget a wee Falkirk snow flurry,
this is the harshest place on earth.
So, just like God cares for and loves us,
so the daddy Penguin sacrifices himself for the sake of his eggs.
He tucks them onto his feet and let’s his tummy fold down over it to keep it warm.
Then all the daddy penguins huddle together in the arctic blasts, shuffling around, taking turns to be on the outside of the group getting battered by the wind and snow.
That’s the kind of love God has for us.
God loves us like a penguin.
And then when they hatch, the young end up in a giant crèche.
Tens of thousands of them huddle together.
Their parents still feed them but how on earth do they recognise them?
By their cry.
Just like babies in hospital, the mums can tell by calling and listening, which one of them is theirs.
Each cry is unique.
Just as each one of us is unique to God.
So today, little Roslynn, we are here to say we will love you.
We are now part of your family whether you like it or not.
We pray that God will be like a penguin to you and love you unconditionally.
No matter what happens to you in your life:
the terrible twos,
that first acne spot,
the heartbreak of the teenage years,
the rebellions and the rest,
no matter what happens and where you go
we will always be here for you.
For we are now part of your family and there is nothing you can do that will change that.
We love you – it is that simple.
So there we have it.
A sermon about love.
About love and penguins.
Don’t forget it.
Thanks for your help. Baby Roslynn’s baptismal sermon gave me great ideas. In return of your favour below are two jokes you might find good for baptisms. (You might know them) I found them on the web long ago but can not recall the author or website.
A minister was about to conduct a baptism. The proud parents came forward and presented their infant daughter to the minister, who took the child in his arms, turned toward the font, and suddenly his mind went blank. He’d forgotten the child’s name. He turned to the father and whispered, “What’s the child’s name?” The father replied in a whisper, “Spindonna.” The minister thought this was a rather unusual name, but went ahead saying, “Spindonna, I baptize you in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” The father went pale, and the mother burst into tears. They took their baby back and stormed out of the church. After the service, the couple was waiting in the church porch. The father glared at the minister, saying “How could you give our child such a ridiculous name?” The minister looked at the man in disbelief. “I didn’t make it up. You did! I asked you what her name is and you said ‘Spindonna.’ ” The father said, “You idiot, I told you that it’s pinned on her!” The father then showed the minister a small note with the name “Elizabeth”, pinned to the baby’s baptism dress.
Hence the story of the woman who arrived on the doorstep of the local vicar, handed him her baby, and demanded, “Could you have him done, please, vicar, while I do some shopping?”
Cheers & Blessings: Adam
Thank you so much for posting this, I have a baptism sermon based on Toy Story, but was told there were no other children going to be present at my one this week, so didn’t want to be too patronising to the adults there. This is perfect!
Care to share your Toy Story one? Always looking for inspiration.
Hi Rev Ruth,
Please can i use your penguin love for a baptism