Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus and are faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, and the forgiveness of our trespasses according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us.
(New Revised Standard Version)
In my first job as a Deaconess I worked in a new Ecumenical Church, with Baptists, Methodists, United Reformed and Church of England clergy and lay people. One of the big discussions concerned the Baptism of children - how could they be 'christened' if they were so young and couldn't respond to God?
Paul's Letter to the Ephesians answers this for question for me. God chose us before our birth, Paul says. Yet we often put an emphasis on us choosing God. The thinking is, we have decided to believe in God and join the church, so we cannot accept that small children can do this, because how can they make such a decision?
However, we have got it the wrong way round. Baptism is about our loving acceptance of all that God gives to us every day: we are his children (whatever our age), and He is our Father; we are saved from eternal death because of Jesus' death; and our sins are totally forgiven. For children, that response is made by parents and godparents/sponsors until they are ready to make the commitment for themselves. For adults that response is to believe, to have faith, and to ask for forgiveness. It is a response we make each day!
our Heavenly Father,
who chose us before we
came into existence,
accept our praise and worship
increase our faith,
and forgive us our sins
this day and in the days to come.