Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Baby Dedication

Mother's Day is also baby dedication Sunday at our church. I love love love the way our church does baby dedications, so getting to dedicate Claire on Sunday was very special. The dedication ceremony is a little more formal than I was used to growing up, but I think I like it more because of that. Our pastor read us five questions, which we verbally affirmed with the other parents. Here are the questions:

- Do you today recognize these children as gifts of God and give heartfelt thanks for God’s blessing?

- Do you now dedicate your children to the Lord who gave them to you, surrendering all worldly claims upon their lives in the hope that they will belong wholly to God?

- Do you pledge as parents that, with God’s fatherly help, you will bring up your children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord, making every reasonable effort, with patience and love, to build the Word of God, the character of Christ and the joy of the Lord into their lives?

- Do you promise to provide, through God’s blessing, for the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual needs of your children, looking to your own heavenly Father for the wisdom, love and strength to serve them and not use them?

- Do you promise, God helping you, to make it your regular prayer that, by God’s grace, your children will come to trust in Jesus Christ alone for the forgiveness of their sins and for the fulfillment of all his promises to them, even eternal life; and in this faith follow Jesus as Lord and obey his teachings?

In some ways, these questions hit home even more this time, because having a two-year old to parent makes me realize how easy it is to do some things that I used to consider unthinkable, like using my children rather than serving them. Even caring for a child's emotional and spiritual well-being is an impossible task without help from God, as I am now more aware than ever.

Just as we promised on Sunday, we are praying that Claire will trust in Jesus alone for the forgiveness of her sins and for the fulfillment of all God's promises to her--even eternal life!

After we affirmed the questions Mark asked us, he went to each child and prayed over them. This was his prayer:
Claire, together with your parents, who love you dearly, and this people who care about the outcome of your faith, I dedicate you to God, surrendering together with them all worldly claims upon your life, in the hope that you will belong wholly to God for ever .

And because we were surrounded by people who love us dearly, the auditorium filled with a heartfelt "Amen" from the congregation.
All in all, it was a wonderful day. Vance made me breakfast, did the dishes, submitted an article to the very prestigious "Journal of Mothering" in my honor, and made a very delicious dinner. It was a beautiful day, I got to take a nap, play with my kids, and watch my husband win his basketball game while Isaac sat happily beside me for a whole hour. :) It was a great day.
I am a very happy, very blessed woman!

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