Friday, February 25, 2011
Last Sunday, Brian and Crystal's baby, Mikela, was dedicated to the Lord. In Baptist churches, we don't practice infant baptism. We practice believer's baptism. That means that only people who have willingly put their faith in Christ for the forgiveness of sins and eternal salvation undergo baptism. So that also means that little babies, who have not yet acquired the capacity for making such decisions, are not baptised.
I know this is worrisome to those who believe you must be baptised to be saved, but we also believe that all people are saved if they die before they reach an age of accountability. We also believe that it is faith in Christ, and not baptism per se, that "saves" people.
I was born into a Lutheran family, so I was baptised as a small child. But when I made a decision to give my life to Christ as a teen, I chose to be baptised again--believer's baptism. This was a bit disconcerting to my mother, but since I was getting baptised and not, say, selling drugs, it sort of blew over as an issue of contention.
Isn't Mikela precious in her ruffles and polka dots?! She is such a doll baby and we love her.
When our church has a child dedication service, it is geared toward the parents and the church community. It begins with the parents dedicating themselves to raising their child in the faith--to being an example of Christian living and love and faith in their own home and in the nurture of their child. The community is dedicating itself to being an example of love and faith as well, and most importantly, being willing to spend the time and money at church required to build all of our children in their growing faith.
My daughter, Jaime, and her husband, Drew, are godparents to Mikela. They stood up with Brian and Crystal on Sunday morning, expressing their commitment to Mikela's well-being for the rest of their lives. With military families being separated from their biological family members, they do a lot of "adopting" of new extended family. That is the case here. None of us can do life alone, at least not well. The wise find good, kindred, trustworthy souls with whom to make the journey. Friendship has got to be one of the sweetest encouragements of life.
Here they all bowed their heads and prayed for the strength and obedience to be the very best kind of loving, caring people for Mikela.
I can't think of anything that matters more in life than this.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”