/ Nathan Eshelman

Why Sophia's Baptism Matters

 Sophia  is a wonderful little baby. She is bright eyed, taking in the world around her. When the psalms are sung in worship sometimes I can hear her worshiping with us in her own infantile chirps and coos. A smile is the  typical response that she gives when you look at her. Sophia in many ways is a typical happy baby.

To the left is the baptismal font at the congregation in which I am the minister. This Lord's Day, November 27, 2011,  the sacramental waters of baptism will be sprinkled onto baby Sophia. Baptisms are always wonderful events in the life of the covenant community, but at least for me, and my congregation, the baptism of Sophia matters.

You see, Sophia is a citizen of the United Kingdom who is living in the San Fernando Valley. That may not seem to "matter" since much of Southern California is made up of immigrants of various stripes. But the baptism of Sophia matters because at least for me, and maybe even my congregation, it is evidence that the Word of God is being demonstrated in an obvious way as the Lord Jesus Christ builds His Church in our midst.

"So shall He sprinkle many nations... for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand." Isaiah 52:15

Many nations are being sprinkled in Sophia's baptism, that is why it matters. As I said, Sophia is citizen of the United Kingdom, living in Southern California. Sophia's father is Ukrainian and  her mother is a Coptic Egyptian. Both are relatively new Christians. Sophia's baptism matters because her baptism is representing the fulfillment of covenant promises to all the nations of the world.

Los Angeles is a diverse city, and in my congregation, the world is being made His disciples- beginning with the sprinkling of these nations. Sophia, our United Kingdom baby born to a Ukrainian father and Coptic Egyptian mother are joining a congregation that has Scots-Irish descendants and other Euro-American varieties, as do most Reformed Presbyterian Churches.

But she also joins Mexicans, Israelis, Chileans, Indians (as in India), Philippinos, Singaporeans, Koreans, Peruvians, Hollanders, and many other sojourners in this world. Sophia's baptism matters because we serve a covenant keeping God who has promised that in Abraham's seed (Jesus Christ) all the nations of the world will be blessed.

Sophia's baptism matters because it represents this promise and the sprinkling of many nations.

Will you join the Los Angeles Reformed Presbyterian Church in giving thanks? Will you join the Los Angeles Church in praying that God would raise up those from among us to go back into these nations with the Gospel of Jesus Christ? The sprinkling of many nations has to begin somewhere. May the Gospel promises made to each nation of the world go forth- as we witness the sprinkling of many nations. That's why Sophia's baptism matters.

Nathan Eshelman

Nathan Eshelman

Pastor in Orlando, studied at Puritan Reformed Theological & Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminaries. One of the chambermen on the podcast The Jerusalem Chamber. Married to Lydia with 5 children.

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