Last weekend I got to baptize twins, once before I got to baptize triplets. I don’t know why, but these seem particularly memorable compared to baptizing two or three babies that aren’t related, or even if they are related that aren’t so closely related and recognizing how much they will share in their lives together. That might be a part of it, recognizing how close they will be, and for baptism how close we are all meant to be, and intended to be eventually in heaven.
I don’t know what it is like to have a twin, but being the youngest of seven children and my next brother only being 13 months older than me I do know what it is like to be a sibling. I think we lose the value of this at times, of having someone that we share so much with, of who we are, of our past experiences thatknows us so well. Even in a marriage, until you’ve been together for very many years you don’t share in all of your past like you do with a sibling when you are young. And with a twin or a triplet I’m sure that gets magnified all the more.
I think a reason why that is so special for baptism is that in baptism we are all to become siblings, with God as our father. Adopted children is the phrase that is used at times, but still we recognize the great difference between parents and children when they are young, and so we recognize the great difference between God and us that places us even closer to each other as siblings compared to our difference from God.
Now consider if you knew all those who are baptized as well as you knew your closest sibling. Yes, as kids we don’t always treat each other as we should, but if we make the effort we understand each other, we know the challenges and difficulties they are going through, and how they will take what is said to them. I know there are some things with my closest brother that even though we haven’t lived in the same state since the first summer of college and he has been married for over 30 years now, there can still be things his wife just doesn’t understand about him that are quite obvious to me. Could we be that knowledgeable, that understanding, that close to all others? Even if we haven’t seen them for long periods, we care about them and know we share some of the most important things in common, so there is no reason to hide anything from each other. We can trust them and know they understand and care about us.
I imagine that closeness is something that twins and triplets share, that is something we are all meant to share, and even if we don’t quite live up to what it should be every day, know we share the most caring parent in God.