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What is your earliest memory? Mine is of looking out our flat in Partick watching the steam trains shunting in Crow Road goods yard.
And as a Glasgow boy, I can say my earliest words were: ‘It wisnae me!’
I also know I was baptised, but of that I have no memory for I was a babe in arms when the love of God was declared for me.
While the vast majority of people have no recollection of their baptism, this does not, in any way, invalidate the Sacrament. Rather, you grow up in the church with the understanding that you belong. The initiative is God’s. God’s Holy Spirit descends upon you – his love pours forth in the water of baptism. This does not depend on your understanding. God loves you first.
As you grow up, you may choose to stay within the faith or go your own way. This is so similar to what may happen in families. We raise children to be strong and independent, while hoping that as adults they will come to love you back.
Last Sunday, in Oban, we had a Cradle Roll service for the babies and now toddlers who were baptised over the past couple of years. Why? Because you should never forget to tell children they are loved, by you and by God.
Thinking back to childhood, my fondest memories are of being loved by my mum and dad. I was fortunate, but too many are not. May those of us baptised in faith be generous in loving today every single child of God, no matter what their age may be.
Rev Dugald Cameron,
Minister of Kilmore and Oban.