We’re so excited to have our TWO new babies coming for baby dedication on September 3. Please come join us for this special time of giving thanks and looking to God for his blessings on the children and their parents.
Here are some thoughts on what baby dedication is (and isn’t) and how we’ll do this special time together:
Baby Dedication at FBC Bennington
Your child is loved by God. Your child was created not too long ago, but God knew all about her, even before she was being “knit” in your womb, as the Psalm says: “…For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made…” (Psalm 139). God has a special interest in and care for your sweet child.
Your child has, and is, an eternal spirit, made in the image of God: “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27) All of creation may pass away, and all the brightly burning stars may die out, but your child’s soul will continue to live forever, because she, along with the rest of humanity, was created by God, to glorify and enjoy God forever.
Your child is a special gift to you, to your family and friends, to the community, and to the church. “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” (Psalm 127:3). There is no one else quite like her, and God has given her to you, and to all who will know her, as a unique blessing.
You have been entrusted to care for her in body, mind, and spirit. This is an amazing and awesome responsibility, which is honestly too much for one or two parents, or a large family network, or even a whole village. The care of even one child is physically, mentally, and spiritually demanding, and sooner or later will bring you to your knees. This is how it should be, because while on our own we can do nothing, God gives us the strength as we look to him: As Jesus said: “With humans this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26).
Your child is from God, and is on her journey to God: to love God “with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.” (Luke 10:27). But we remember that even the sweetest child isn’t perfect, and is affected by sin, causing separation from God. Thankfully God has made a way to reconcile with him and restore our relationship with him as our Heavenly Father. That is why he sent his precious son to die for your child, and all who will believe in him. Therefore the most important thing you can do for your child is to lead her to faith in Jesus Christ, so she will have eternal life, and live into all God has created her to be. So pray with her and for her. Read her the Bible. Show her what it looks like to trust Jesus. Be open and humble about your life and faith. Look for opportunities to share God’s grace with her.
You are coming to dedicate your child to God, much like Hannah did in the Old Testament: “For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition, therefore I have given him to the Lord…” (1 Samuel 1). And yet you also come to dedicate yourself to God, and look to him for the strength for this awesome and wonderful calling of raising your precious child.
So, in summary, these are some of the reasons we bring your child for dedication:
- To remember and recognize that she is created and beloved by God
- To give thanks for the gift that she is to us and many others
- To recognize her as made in God’s image
- To look to God alone for the strength to raise her well
- To entrust her to the care of God himself, who sent his son Jesus to die for her, so she might believe in him and live for him
- To pray to God to bless and keep her all her days
- To publicly promise to God to raise her to know and love God as best as we’re able.
These are some of the things that baby dedication includes. To be clear, here are some of the things baby dedication is NOT:
It is NOT baptism. There is no water included. We believe baptism is for those who have themselves trusted Jesus for forgiveness of their sins and have made him their Lord and Savior. Babies are not yet able to do this, therefore we do not baptize them yet, but look forward to the day when they will be.
It does NOT save them. We pray, we promise, we remember, we look to God alone, but what we do at a dedication cannot bring your child salvation. The Bible teaches that only faith in Jesus Christ can save us, and so we trust that this time is a significant step toward your child coming to faith when she is ready.
It does NOT make them a formal member of the church. That will happen when if and when your child is baptized, but of course she is still a vital part of our church family.
The baby dedication service will include:
- A brief word from Pastor Bob on why we are dedicating your child, based on Psalm 127:3
- A blessing based on your child’s name (optional)
- Dedication promises:
- “Do you now present your child before God in solemn dedication?”
- “Do you look to God, as your Heavenly Father, to lead you in raising your child to love God with all her heart, soul, mind and strength?”
- “Do you promise to pray with and for your child, read and teach her the Bible, and lead her to follow Jesus?”
- Congregation promise: “Do you, the members of FBC, promise to assist the parents of this child in raising her to know and love God, and receive her in love, pray for her, help instruct her in the faith, and encourage and support her and her parents as best as you’re able?”
- Prayer of dedication
- Presentation of the child, while congregation sings “Jesus Loves Me”