Monday, December 7, 2015

child dedication

Our baby (or child) dedication service is one way parents can a) give public thanks to the Lord for the young life entrusted to them; b) request prayer for their child and for them in their roles as parents; and c) to publicly dedicate (set apart) their child and themselves as belonging to the Lord for his service and glory. Normally, we read something like the following at that time...

"Behold, children are a gift of the LORD…" (Psalm 127:3)  God has gifted our families -- and this church -- with children.  They are entrusted to us that we might lead them to the knowledge of God through the Lord Jesus. 
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”  (Deuteronomy 6:4-8 ESV).  
The Apostle Paul gives a special word to the fathers, when he wrote, "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."  (Ephesians 6:4 ESV)

Our Lord Jesus did not turn away parents who brought their children to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray for them:
“People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’  And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.”  (Mark 10:13-16)
Consistent with this teaching, we welcome parents who bring their children for dedication and prayer. This dedication is both of the children to the Lord but also of the parents to their role as Christian fathers and mothers.  

So to these parents we ask, “Recognizing the dignity and responsibility of parenthood and of your dependence upon God's grace, do you now present your children in dedication to the Lord, and do you commit yourselves to raise your children in love toward God and in the knowledge of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord?”  

This is concluded with a prayer of dedication and blessing upon the children and their families.  One service recently had seven babies being dedicated (below).   

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