Tuesday, 5 April 2011

A soldier's baptism: Another astonishing post from the padre at the British Army blog

[...] "After a brew I made my way across the compound to chat with Adam before his baptism. As I did so aware of the austerity of the place, the heightened state of everyone’s state of mind and soul after the night before’s incident I was reminded of the words of George Macleod:

‘I simply argue that the cross be raised again at the centre of the market place as well as on the steeple of the Church. I am recovering the claim that Jesus was not crucified in a cathedral between two candles; but on a cross between two thieves; on a town garbage heap; at the crossroad of politics so cosmopolitan that they had to write His title in Hebrew and in Latin and in Greek… And at the kind of place where cynics talk smut, and thieves curse and soldiers gamble. Because that is where He died, and that is what He died about. And that is where Christ’s men ought to be and what Church people ought to be about.’

That we had no kind of font or baptistry was irrelevant. We had a big blue plastic barrel that the lads dunk themselves in after a patrol to cool down, and we had a mug cut from the container that held a mortar round. And we had Adam’s friends, those he lives alongside, and with whom he had discussed his decision, his choice, his desire to be baptised. And so as we stood next to the barrel I read the words my friend Bob had told me would be important during the tour. Words I’ve prayed with lads in CPs during the tour, words I prayed with a young man as he laid critically ill in a hospital bed and now words of promise for Adam at his baptism. Words from the book of Joshua chapter 1 that God had promised a faithful soldier thousands of years earlier ..."

Read the rest here.

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1 comment:

  1. This is as fine a reminder of the work of the armed forces chaplains as you will ever see. What a truly moving and inspirational report.

    The chaplains do stirling work - as an ex-sailor, I know first hand the value that they bring to those on the front line. Indeed, I was confirmed as an officer cadet in the chapel of BRNC by an outstanding example of the genre and have never looked back.