A Presbyterian minister witnessed this moving story of togetherness that dates from one of his earliest churches – a small, country fellowship.
One Sunday, a young woman came to the country church with her tiny infant, born out of wedlock. She was shunned in her community but wanted to present her child for baptism, in the Presbyterian tradition of sealing the child into the covenant community of faith.
But that day, because their was no husband in the picture, and she had been disowned by her own family, the pathetic young mother stood alone. The minister had not fully processed the awkwardness of the situation until the query in the ceremony is asked,
“Who stands with this child to assure the promises and commitments herewith made will be carried out? Who will be there for this child in times of need, and assure that this child is brought up in the nurture and admonition of The Lord?”
It was painfully silent for a few ticks. Of course, the mother was taking responsibility for these things, albeit alone. She was prepared to answer on her own behalf, but then the most amazing thing happened.
There was no cue or rehearsal for what happened next. But, instinctively, the small congregation rose as one and answered together,