seven kiddos at Forefront Manhattan yesterday. Below are the scriptures and charges we committed to as families and as a church family.
TRANSCRIPT, MARCH 22, 2015
The book of First Samuel in the Old Testament says,
And Hannah made a vow, saying, "O Lord Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life."
- 1 Samuel 1:11
This scripture, and many others in the bible are why churches all over the world choose to practice something called "Baby Dedication," or "Infant Dedication" as a statement of faith.
A Baby Dedication is a ceremony where parents make a commitment before God and the congregation to raise their child according to the teachings of Jesus.
"Ceremonies" matter. They not magical, but they are spiritual. The things that we believe and commit to have the power to change the trajectory of our lives. This is why Baby Dedication is important to us as a congregation.
CHARGE TO PARENTS
Parents, you have a very high calling before you in the lives of these little ones. You will shape their very view of the world with your words and with your actions. The first Jesus that they will ever see is the one that you speak of and live out before them. It is so important that they see the real Jesus living through you.
I have a question that I want to ask you today that I would like for you to answer before our congregation.
That question -
Do you commit to raising your child in a loving home, teaching them to follow the ways of Jesus Christ, so that when the time comes they will choose to dedicate the path of their life to him?
If so answer, “we do.”
CHARGE TO CONGREGATION
And church family, you also have a high calling in the lives of these little ones. You also will shape their very view of the world, and especially the church. Their understanding of love and unity of the body of Christ will be shaped by how you live before them.
And today I want to ask you, also -
Do you commit to living out the teachings of Jesus, creating an atmosphere of love and unity around these children, so that as they grow to an age of understanding that they will choose to be an active part of Body of Christ in the world.
If so answer, “we do.”
I want us to conclude our ceremony today by asking Marlee Walters, our Family Ministry Director, to read a scripture and pray for our families.
"Hear O Israel: The Lord our God 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 6:4-7
Father God, thank you for making us your children. Thank you that we are more than saved, that we are brought into your family.
Thank you for these parents, who have taken the step to dedicate their children to you. I pray for the parents, for the strength in the coming years to be good parents and good people - to live as examples for their children.
I pray for the long nights they will have and the sacrifices they will make - be there with them as they do so for the love of their children. May they be reminded that it is a reflection of your love for us.
I ask for wisdom and patience and humor for these parents as they raise their children.
I pray also for this community, that teachers and leaders within it will take these children under their wings as they grow older and provide another adult influence in their life that points to you.
Thank you for these beautiful children and for the opportunity we have in being a part of their lives. We love you and we thank you.
See photos from baby dedication here.