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Comrie St,
Wanniassa ACT
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God’s living water

EXODUS 17:1-7

Callum is today baptised in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Callum’s baptism is a very powerful experience that focuses all of us us for the journey ahead.

One day, Callum’s baptism will speak to him, but for the rest of us here today, it’s a powerful constant narrative that reaffirms God’s faith in us. It’s also the conduit through which flows a relationship of love between God, and Callum, and ourselves.

Just as we heard in the story from the Book of Exodus, the streaming of that relationship with our LORD is not always a path with clear direction.


Just as babies tend to have their ‘witching hour’ as it’s now called, it seems that when it comes to our relationship with God, we too can have our own ‘witching hour’ – our grumble. The Israelites journeying in the desert had lost sight of the Lord’s big picture and become disoriented, so the story tells us. God, through Moses, ultimately refocused their journey.

So too Callum’s baptism has a refocusing message for us. His baptism says to us, above all else, that although we may not sometimes be aware of it, ‘the LORD IS among us.

Callum’s baptism invites to trust God, journeying with Him. Baptism is the signature of God who freely chooses to take the lost cause of humanity which has chosen to deny God, and yet, through Christ, continues His purpose of reconciliation with us.

Baptism is saying to Callum, and to each of us, even though we may not yet acknowledge it or even know it or understand it, long before we were a twinkle in the eyes of our parents, God was thinking of us, loving us, and reconciling us with Himself. And that loving presence is with us as much today as that baptismal water was upon the head of little Callum.

Callum’s baptism also speaks with his parents, Peter and Vanessa. It’s a powerful story of affirmation that you need not be alone in nurturing and raising Callum. Baptism reminds us that we can freely walk with faith in our heart, and not be afraid or alone.

This is also the message that God, through Moses, spoke to the thirsty people in their desert experience – “I will stand before you, and water will come forth, that you may drink!” There’s no need to fear. God is with us!

I’m sure that as parents, Vanessa and Peter, you already know the demands of providing food and fluid for a hungry child. There’s also the responsibility of providing clothing, fresh nappies, a cot, pram, car seat, along with the emotional warmth of cuddles, smiles and laughter amid the endless rounds of feeding and burping, and lots of play.

And yes, Callum’s baptism asks that niggling little question also asked of the Israelites, “is the LORD among us or not?”

As parents, you hold that answer. Just as the Israelites had to find God in their wilderness context, and grow to know Him and trust Him right in that experience, I invite you to allow Callum to remind you that God is with you and loves you.

Through faith in God, not only will you know the LORD with you in your parenting. Let your faith be the path through which Callum might also know God is with him. What your child learns about life, he will primarily learn from his parents. And what more could a child ask than to know that he is loved by his parents, and by his heavenly Parent, God the Lord and provider.

Building a life focused around God through your faith, hope and love, and your prayers will bring the experience of God among you and with you into focus for Callum, and for each of you.

Finally, Callum’s baptism has something important to say to all of us, and to all of God’s people across the world. This sacrament of baptism declares that we accept prayerful responsibility for every child, and every adult, who comes for baptism within this Christian community.

As members of the collection of Christ’s people in this place, we’ve promised to stand with you as you live out the promises and responsibilities of healthy spiritual and practical parenting.

As we all endeavour to tackle the challenge of living out our faith in Christ, may we be reminded that “The LORD is surely with us in this place”.

As the community of Christ’s people, it’s our responsibility to support Peter and Vanessa and Callum, and all other children and families. Here we provide opportunities to pray with them and to support them, help them understand the scriptures, and to grow in God’s love. Supported by the enrichment of family life through worship and church where all are welcome and have opportunity to happily grow in the knowledge and love of God with us, families bloom and blossom, and society is fed and sustained.

Baptism is a sacred moment that declares to every child, every parent, every adult, and every human being, that God is graciously with us and among us through His Son Jesus and the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit.

Baptism speaks about the love that God has for each of us, inviting us to drink of the water from which we will never again thirst when we tap into the source of God’s living water, JC.

God journeys with us, reconciling us with Himself. Sure, we’re going to stumble and fall in that journey, as the Israelites did. But through Christ Jesus, the LORD God is ever ready to pick us up, to forgive, and to restore us on our way again. Trust God to provide a means by which someone or an angel of God will come to tap on that rock before us, to release the living water which nourishes us eternally. Let’s listen to the words of John 4:7-15.



Gary Wheband

The Rev Gary Whelband is a retired Uniting Church minister and Air Force chaplain. Gary’s ministry both within the church and the Air Force has taken him to many parts of Australia and overseas. Gary continues to support our congregation’s worship through his preaching. 

Contact Us

P: (02) 6231 0488
F: (02) 6296 3403

Comrie Street
Wanniassa ACT 2903

PO Box 423
Erindale Centre ACT 2903 

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About Our Church

Our faith community began in 1975 as a small ecumenical gathering of people who settled in the new Canberra township of Tuggeranong. We have grown with the Tuggeranong Community, and our parish centre is the hub for our work, as a place of worship, of gathering and ministry.

We aim to help people have life to the full. We welcome people into a our Christian community where they can connect with God, with one another and with opportunities to make a difference in our changing world.

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