- Do you recognize this child as the gift of God and give heartfelt thanks for God's blessing?
- Do you now dedicate your child to the Lord who gave him to you, surrendering all worldly claims upon his life in the hope that he will belong wholly to God?
- Do you pledge as parents that, with God's fatherly help, you will bring up your child 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 his life?
- Do you promise to provide, through God's blessing, for the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual needs of your child, looking to your own heavenly Father for the wisdom, love and strength to serve him and not use him?
- Do your promise, God helping you, to make it your regular prayer that by God's grace your child will come to trust in Jesus Christ alone for the forgiveness of his 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?
"Judah, 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 claim upon your life in the hope that you will belong wholly to the Lord, forever."
Being Mother's Day, I received a white rose after the service, as a gift from the church to all who grieve on this day, whether children who have lost a mother, mothers who have lost children, or those for whom Mother's Day holds some other kind of pain. I also held the red rose given to parents when their child is dedicated. With those two roses in my hand, I thought of these words from "The Misery of Job and the Mercy of God" by Pastor John:
Light candle one, and count the cost;
And ponder everything we've lost.
And let us bow before the throne
Of God, who gives and takes his own,
And promises, whatever toll
He takes, to satisfy our soul.
Come learn the lesson of the rod:
The treasure that we have in God.
He is not poor nor much enticed
Who loses everything but Christ.
Behold the light of candle four:
What we have lost God will restore
When he is finished with his art,
The silent worship of our heart.
When God creates a humble hush,
And makes Leviathan his brush,
It won't be long until the rod
Becomes the tender kiss of God.
God gives and takes His own. The children I have been given are His, the child He took is His. It is sweet and comforting to remember this truth.
Also sweet and comforting, on a different level, are the gift my children gave me for Mother's Day. Be warned, these cards from Grace will make you choke up! All her poetry is original.