A woman approached her reverend after church one day. She said “Reverend, my daughter just had a baby a month ago, and well, he should be baptized, shouldn’t he?” the reverend said ” Yes, he should. Why don’t you have your daughter and her husband bring the baby in and we’ll baptize him in church in two weeks?” The woman said, ” Well you see reverend, she’s only 16. The father of the baby left her, but she was confirmed in this church a couple years ago. She’d like for her baby to be baptized, but she’s afraid to approach you.” The reverend thanked her for her time and went home to think about it. He decided to baptize the baby, regardless of her age and marital status. He worried about when it was time to ask who would support this baby, because only the grandmother would stand up. Typically the baby’s entire family would rise to support the new child. However, he thought the embarrassment would be worth baptizing the baby. On the last Sunday before Christmas, the teenage mother walked proudly down the aisle with her son in her arms, and handed him to the reverend. He started the ceremony, but dreaded the moment he was to ask who would stand with this child. He asked the question, and the grandmother stood up. There was a pause, but before he could continue, one of the elderly members of the church stood up. One by one, each member of the church stood until the entire church was on their feet, promising to support this new little family.
This is how churches are supposed to act. They are supposed to be a place of welcoming, a place of acceptance and forgiveness. They were never created to be a place of judgement or disdain. They are not intended to be your gossip hub, or a good place to hold fundraising dinners. They are supposed to be a base for God’s love to permeate the world