On May 15, we dedicated Amelia Rose to the Lord at our church in Indianapolis, College Park. We do not believe in infant baptism, given the fact that we believe baptism should be a choice made once an individual has chosen to follow Jesus. As it is an outward declaration of one’s faith, we believe it can’t be imposed on someone through infant baptism (sidenote: we do not judge anyone for baptizing their baby. The tradition is a sweet one. This is just our personal belief).
So with that, our church/denomination dedicates children to the Lord. This requires parents to present our children to the church and to make a public declaration that we will strive to raise this child so that she knows Jesus and has an opportunity to choose to follow Him all of her days. We do it in front of the church so that our friends there can hold us accountable to the promise we made, but it also implies that they should be personally invested in the outcome of childrens’ faith that attend the church.
We did the same with Charlotte at our church in Chicago, and we were so excited to have this special moment with Amelia too. Both of our parents joined us as well as two of my sisters. Amelia was a sweet, interested girl during her dedication, even listening intently as the pastor prayed at the end of the ceremony. Each child is also given a baton with a message from the church about living for God. For 18 years, the parents hold on to this baton as it is our responsibility to help start and nurture a child’s relationship with the Lord. However, at age 18, we pass the baton to our children — because the responsibility of their relationship with Christ passes to them.
Amelia, we wish so many good things for you — happiness, health and a life without pain and misfortune. But more than all of these things, we pray that you come to know Jesus as your Savior. With Him as the focus of your life, everything else becomes small. We hope that you live for Him and others over yourself. And we pray that you get to experience His saving grace, promises of life and assurances of hope and peace in whatever you face in this life. With Him, anything is possible.
Thanks to my awesome friend, Sarah, for taking these snapshots for us! We can’t wait to share this special day with Amelia as she grows older.