I’ve spent the week digging through the piles on my desk and found Laura Eberly’s reflection on her baptism at the Easter Vigil two years ago. (I’ll keep posting other student writings as I find them!):
Baptism. After months of catechism mentoring, agonizing questions, Lenten discipline and fervent prayer, it is Easter vigil and I am standing at the altar of St. James’ Cathedral in downtown Chicago saying my baptismal vows. “Wash me clean, dear Lord,” I whisper. “Take me, broken as I am.” And suddenly I am walking to the back of the cathedral, tears I didn’t know I’d been crying streaming down my face. Stacy grasps my hand and somehow we make it to the baptismal font. I am baptized and the lights in the cathedral go on to peals of Hallelujahs and Amens and I take communion, Christ’s holy body and blood, to the cheers of my Brent House sisters and brothers. God’s grace reaches far beyond the night into the blessing that Brent House and Stacy’s loving guidance have been in my life these past months, the excitement and love that the congregation showed me in this growth of knowledge and love of God. Forty people greet me at the end of the service; my parents and brother who are staying at Brent House, Ian, the peer minister who has guided me through my preparation, the other members of the Brent House community and friends from my dorm and track team for whom Stacy and the interns have kindly provided transportation. We celebrate the blessing of new life, Christ risen and grace as we celebrate everything at Brent House – with food! A community of all the people I have come to love in all aspects of my new life at the University, gathered at table together, Christian and non-Christian alike, to share food, thanksgiving, fellowship and love. Thanks be to God!
–Laura Eberly, College class of 2010