Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
At its Annual Meeting on Sunday, Feb. 5, the members of St. John's Lutheran Church of Kimball bestowed the honor of "Member of the Year" on the last baby baptized in 2011. Alison Lucille Truenow, born Oct. 3rd and baptized Oct. 23, was brought before the congregation by her mom and dad, Luke and Megan Truenow of Kimball, to receive a framed certificate describing the honor bestowed on her. Alison was given the opportunity to offer an acceptance speech, but declined, though she did show some interest in the microphone.
It may seem odd to bestow such an honor on a baby. In most organizations, such accolades are reserved for those who perform outstanding service within the organization. But the Church is unlike any other organization. The rewards we receive in God's Kingdom are not awarded by merit. The best gifts God has to give, forgiveness of sins, resurrection, and eternal life, are completely free, purchased for us by Jesus through His death and resurrection, and given to us in our baptism. We simply receive the gifts through faith in Jesus (another one of God's gifts, by the way). The rest of our lives as Christians we can never earn or merit more than what God gave us right up front in our baptism. The work we do in His Church, the offerings we give, the service we offer, are simply ways to thank God for what He has already given us in full.
Which is why little Alison was honored as our "Member of the Year." Our prayer, of course, is that she will grow in the grace God has given her, and that she will come to know, understand, and rejoice in the love and forgiveness Jesus poured out on her in her baptism. We also hope that, as she grows in faith in Jesus, she will gladly offer herself in service to her God.
But that's down the road. In the meantime, Alison is available for speaking engagements. Just don't expect a whole lot. On the other hand, the Psalmist did write: "From the lips of children and infants You have ordained praise..."