While visiting another church recently, I heard a good children’s talk, in which the presenter asked, “in the Bible, what does 1+1 equal?” A couple of the adults from the congregation answered; two, like everywhere else. But the answer was three, because, as it says in scripture, when two people gather, in the name of Christ, he is with them also. (1+1=3, with Jesus)
One of the first lessons (rules) they drill into people trying to become Anglican priests is that, no matter what, you can never (never!) celebrate Holy Communion by yourself. There must always be at least one other person present. It must, at lease be a community of two people. And if two are gather, it is three, because there he is – Christ in the midst of them.
As special as it will be for a young man named William, who will be welcomed into the Body of Christ (the Church) through the sacrament of Baptism, to be baptized by his grandmother, it is not really her that’s doing it. Oh, for sure, she’s leading the prayers and performing all the right actions associated with Baptism, but even this is a corporate act, something we do as the Body of Christ.
William’s parents and God-parents will make a commitment to the Church on his behalf and we, as the Church-gathered will make a commitment to William. We will say, “we will,” when asked, “Will you… do all in your power to support William in his life in Christ?” And by doing so, we are committing to be the Church, for as long as William needs the Church.
Throughout scripture God relates to people in community. God continues to this day to relate to us as community, as the church, gathered for worship and for service; for baptism and communion; for joy and sadness; for the mere fun of it.