It was a super blessing to be at church today during a baby dedication. Little Ruby Bell has already won the crowds over (babies seem to do that!) at Southwest Central, and I think that will continue to be the case as she grows up and becomes an adult. She is definitely apart of the family at our church, and we (I) will do the best I can in supporting her growth. It’s a super blessing because I want the best for that child, and because the Bells are such a super family that mean a lot to our church family, let alone to me.
For me though there is more food for thought as I am watching the baby blessing. The themes came up constantly about family, and about the role of that life as part of the church family. Just the theme of family alone is meaningful to me. I have watched numerous times over the years as children are blessed and/or dedicated as part of a church service, and the meaning behind committing a child’s life and an adults’ parenthood to Christ because that is what families do is quite moving. Families are called to be faithful, and bring their little ones to Jesus who doesn’t reject them but welcomes them with joy. The dedication reflects the faithful joy that families ought to hold (and of course what I look forward to myself). So I love the family aspect. It is not simply any old blessing or any old prayer- it is an acknowledgement of the gift and joy of family in our Christian journeys.
It is also reflects the role of the church in our lives. The church really becomes the place where we bring our personal gifts, our joys and sorrows, our celebrations and our griefs- it is the place where our lives become wrapped into something bigger and are given more life. Though I am not knowledgeable myself, raising a kid as a parent is one thing, but acknowledging it as a gift (and challenge!) from God and placing it before the church family is another. Bringing a grief, a pain, a prayer is much the same way. That little baby Bell and those wonderful two parents claim the role of the church family as an important and critical part of their life around that child. That’s cool, it’s inspiring, it’s meaningful, and it’s something I look forward to.
Thank you for Lord for the beautiful gift of Ruby to the world, to Southwest Central, to the kingdom of God, and to Michael and Luci, and may your gift reflect the power of Christ in our lives in so many ways in the church family throughout her wonderful life! Amen!