Baby dedication is an act of consecrating a child to God. It is a time when Christian parents make a commitment to the Lord that they would raise their children in the Christian faith and help them to believe in the Saviour Jesus Christ.
There is an Old Testament practice of offering the first-born males to the LORD (Exodus 13:2, 12-13).
“Consecrate to me all the firstborn. Whatever is the first to open the womb among the people of Israel, both of man and of beast, is mine.” (Exodus 13:2).
Hannah followed the practice when God opened her womb. She kept her vow and gave Samuel for the Lord’s service (1 Samuel 1:11). And God blessed her with more children (1 Samuel 2:21).
Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple after forty days to consecrate Him to God (Luke 2:22). They were blessed later with more children of their own.
Today, some Christian pastors and parents consecrate their first-born sons to the Lord’s full-time service.
More commonly, Christian parents dedicate their infants, both boys and girls, to the Lord.
In Bethesda Chapel, baby dedication is conducted by the church elder or pastor or any church leader. It is a time for parents to make a commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ that they would by faith, bring up their children and lead them to the Saviour.
As church members witness the baby dedication, they affirm that as a church family, they will do their part to pray for them and encourage them to raise their children in the faith (Deuteronomy 6:6-9).
Whilst God the Father sees how we live Christ-centred lives at home and at work, our children see our devotion to God by our actions and love for them (Matthew 6:4, 6, 18).
With the COVID-19 pandemic and uncertainties of the worsening environ-ment, Christian parents face more pressures. They need our prayers and encouragement. They need the love and grace of the Holy Spirit to raise their children for Christ.
Jesus says, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14).
We are also God’s little children.
“I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for His Name’s sake” (1 John 2:12).
“And now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears we may have confidence and not shrink from Him in shame at His coming” (1 John 2:28).
Let us grow in the sure Word of God. Let us remember the young Christian parents and their children in our prayers and give them our support (Ephesians 1:16).
Elder Yoong Yuen Soo