What Are Baby Dedications?
At the beginning of the Lion King, as Simba is born, there is the famous moment where all the animals of the Pride Land gather together for the presentation ceremony. Rafiki holds up the young cub for all to see and celebrate. It’s a powerful moment that sums up what every new parent wants to do with their baby, to hold them high for all to see and marvel. As Veritas celebrates baby dedications, each new baby in our church family will be held before the congregation; but a baby dedication is not a presentation ceremony.
What is it? In 1 Samuel 1:27-28 a woman named Hannah had prayed for years through infertility that the Lord would give her a child, and when she gives Birth to Samuel she praises God for giving her a child and then she immediately gives him back to the Lord, saying: “So I have also dedicated him to the LORD; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the LORD.” Baby dedications are a moment when we respond to God’s grace in the same heart as Hannah, where we praise him for the gift of children and where we dedicate them to his glory and his purposes.
Does a baby dedication take the place of baptism? No, our conviction is that baptism is commanded for all believers who have trusted in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection for their salvation. Our hope and prayer is that all who are dedicated will one day be baptized as believers in Christ, but baby dedication is not a replacement for baptism.
What does a baby dedication do? In and of itself, nothing. A baby dedication does not make a child a Christian, it does not guarantee that they will grow up to follow Christ, and it does not impart a special blessing on their future. A baby dedication is simply a formal call together as a church to ask He who can do everything to do so!
So while baby dedications are not commanded in Scripture, we celebrate them at Veritas as a time to corporately seek God and call the church to care for these children and families as Scripture calls us to. We give thanks for little ones that God has entrusted to our church, we commission their parents to raise them up in the gospel, and we commit to love and support each family as they follow God through the blessings and struggles of life.
by Brad Snyder, Tri-Village Lead Pastor