Monday, July 12, 2010

Mary's Baby Dedication

You may have already read how it took me nearly two months to share Charlotte's dance recital with you. I'm equally behind on sharing Mary's dedication service with you. It happened the next morning and we were blessed to be joined by so many family members in dedicating ourselves to raise Mary in the Lord. Below is the text that Pastor Mark read for her parent/baby dedication, which was written collaboratively by Bruce and me. And below that is the less than 5 minutes video of the service.

Luke 18 tells us of a time when people were bringing their babies to Jesus to receive his blessing. His disciples, however, tried to shoo the people away, probably thinking their busy teacher had more important issues to worry about. But Jesus welcomed the children and used that opportunity to teach about the faith that brings people to God.

The parents bringing their children to Jesus understood their responsibility to raise children to the glory of God. As Dt. 6:4-7 commands us:

"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 their 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."

In the same way, Bruce and Jennifer Sabin bring their daughter, Mary Mitchell Sabin, presenting first themselves and then Mary before God. Accompanying them to witness this commitment are her sister, grandparents, great-grandfather, aunt and uncle, and close friends of the family.

Bruce and Jennifer have tried from the very beginning of Mary’s life—even before she was born—to point Mary toward God. That’s why they gave her the name Mary Mitchell. They named her after a 19th century missionary—a person most of you have probably never heard of, but who invested her life to show the glory of God and help other people enjoy him as much as she did.

And, today, Bruce and Jennifer bring Mary before this church and for two reasons. They want to make a commitment to God, in front of all of us, that they will seek to raise Mary in the discipline and teaching of the Lord. And they seek our commitment, as their church family, to walk along side them in their task.

Bruce & Jennifer by coming forward before God and his people, do you hereby declare your desire to dedicate yourselves and Mary to the Lord? If so, please respond by saying "we do." ("We do.")

Having come freely, I ask now that you enter into the following commitment in the presence of God and his people (Wife hands child to husband as a sign of his spiritual headship in the family).

So that Mary may walk in the abundant life that Christ offers, do you Bruce & Jennifer vow by God's help and in partnership with the church, to provide Mary a Christian home of love and peace, to raise her in the truth of our Lord's instruction and discipline, and to pray for her and encourage her to one day trust Jesus Christ as her Savior and Lord? ("We do.")

Finally, I ask that the church make a vow as well. As believers in the body of Christ, we have a responsibility to teach the Gospel story to our younger generation. In fact, the Old Testament prophet Joel commands us to tell of God's work "to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation" (1:3). So I direct my questions now to the congregation.

Being gathered together before God today, do you hereby declare yourselves to be the children of God because you trust in Jesus Christ alone for the forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life? If this is true, please respond by saying "we do." ("We do.")

Would you please stand?

Having come freely, I ask now that you make the following commitment before God and those who stand before you: So that Mary may walk in the abundant life that Christ offers, do you vow by God's help, to be faithful in your calling as members of the body of Christ, to help Bruce and Jennifer be faithful to God, and to help teach and train Mary in the ways of the Lord so that she might one day trust him as Savior and Lord? If you accept this responsibility, please respond by saying "we do."

(Closing prayer by Pastor Mark)

1 comment:

  1. Nice Dedication ceremony. Charlotte was cute waving.


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