This Sunday, we have the joy to dedicate two sets of parents and two wonderful little boys! Here’s an explanation of why we do what we do…
Why “Parent & Child Dedications”?
- The practice of child dedication is based on scriptural precedent, rooted in the Old Testament, in which Jesus was presented to the Lord in the temple as an infant (Luke 2:22-35).
- The practice of child dedication is also based on, and acknowledges, God’s blessing towards and care for children (Isaiah 54:13; Matthew 18:1-5, 10; 19:13-15; Luke 18:15-17; Acts 2:39; 1 John 2:12-13).
- The practice of child dedication is fundamentally an act of the parents. It is a commitment that parents make in their heart before Jesus and agree to live out in their home together. The dedication we perform during the church gathering is simply a public acknowledgment of that commitment.
- In dedicating a child, parents acknowledge that their children are a gift given to them by God (Genesis 33:5; Psalm 127:3-5). As such they are a blessing, privilege, and tremendous source of joy (Proverbs 23:24-25) — even though they require much labor. Ultimately, we recognize that they have been created by our Father in heaven (Psalm 139:13) and, as such, belong to him, though entrusted to parents to be raised in Christ (Exodus 13:2, 12).
- In dedicating children, parents commit to live as people who, by the grace of God, have a genuine walk with Jesus. In this way, they are committing to live a life worthy of emulation so as to not serve as a stumbling block to their child’s ongoing faith and trust in Jesus. (Matt. 18:5-6)
- At the same time, our church (elders, deacons, members and community) commits to supporting, encouraging and praying for parents, by the grace of God, as they seek to fulfill their God-given task of parenting and raising their child up in the knowledge of the Lord.
Child Dedication is Not:
- Baptism: In order to avoid any confusion, it is important to note that dedicating children is neither a “dry” baptism nor a substitute for baptism. As a church, we recognize believer’s baptism (i.e. baptism following the placing of your faith in Jesus) as the biblical model of baptism.
- Magic: This likely goes without saying, but it too needs to be said. The practice of dedicating children is not magic, nor a formula by which to manipulate God, nor does it place any kind of extra-special blessing or protection upon children, nor does it secure or ensure their immediate or eventual salvation.
(Adapted and used by permission from Downtown Cornerstone Church, Seattle, WA. http://www.downtowncornerstone.org/2014/04/30/mothers-day-child-dedications.)