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What Is Baby Dedication

Having set a date for the next baby dedication ceremony (October 22nd!), it seems like a good time to revisit why we do these in the first place! After all, it is not just helpful but usually encouraging to reflect on why we do what we do at West Hills. So, why do baby dedications?
A baby dedication is, first and foremost, a time of thanksgiving to the God of grace. We use time in the assembly of worship to recognize that children are a gift from the Lord and that the fruit of the womb comes from the overflow of his generous, life-giving heart (Psalm 127:3). We celebrate His kindness by offering thanks to Him in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Second, a baby dedication is a time to publicly commit to God and to one another that we will declare God’s mighty acts to the next generation (Psalm 145:4). Parent’s bear the responsibility to raise their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Eph 6:4), and to teach their children how the Law of God applies to all of life (Deut 6:7). At baby dedications, parents acknowledge and commit to this awesome responsibility, while the congregation commits to aid them in this life-long pursuit by the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12:7; Eph 4:14-16). It is the responsibility of the whole community (though especially the parents) to show Jesus Christ to children in both words and deeds (1 Thess 2:11-12, Eph 5:1; Gal 4:19), so that they might grow to become pleasing to the Lord (Col 3:20). Dedicating your child to the Lord does not make them righteous in God’s sight or impart to them any sort of spiritual blessing (Gal 3:7)! Instead, it is to acknowledge that God has entrusted parents in our congregation with a new life, and to commit to work together for the child’s eternal welfare in the Lord.
Finally, a baby dedication is a time to pray. A time to pray for wisdom and strength for the parents to obey God’s commands. A time to pray for the richness of God’s gospel blessings to invade the life of their home, and to one day transform the heart of the child when, God-willing, they turn to Christ as their Savior, Redeemer, and King. It is a time to pray that just as good parents teach and care for children in their home, that our local church would function as a loving and caring household that builds itself up in love for the glory of Jesus Christ.
Are baby dedications commanded in Scripture? Nope. Do they have some sort of spiritual effect on children? No, not at all. Baby dedications are a time for parents and congregants to corporately recognize and worship the Lord for the fact that children are a gift from God, that they must be raised in the love of God, that parents are dependent on God’s help to do this, and that the whole church has a role to play. And for that reason, we feel that they are a very very healthy thing for the church.
If you would like to participate in baby dedications on October 22nd, contact pastor Josh at jcamacho@westhills.org.
God bless you!

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