On June the 8th we shared a special day welcoming family and friends at Brighton Street, Flemington to dedicate ourselves and parents, Kemu and Emily, to raise their son Henry in the way of Christ. Henry shares his grandfathers passion for ‘broom broom’ cars and we give thanks that we can celebrate his life and presence among us.
Acknowledgement of Country
We acknowledge that we gather on the land of which the Wurundjeri and those of the Kulin Nations have been custodians from time immemorial. We honour this history, their elders past and present and commit ourselves to care for the land with them. May our worship and our service be work for reconciliation with people and with our God.
Kemu and Emily welcomed and acknowledged those elders from each of their families.
Explantation of Dedication
Children are a gift from God. Psalms 127:3
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17
Psalm 127:3 proclaims that “Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him.” As believers we are called to recognise that children belong first and foremost to God. God in his goodness gives children as a gift to parents. We not only have the awesome responsibility of caring for this gift, but also the wonderful privilege of enjoying this gift. Because children belong to God and are given to us by his grace, we would like to respond by having our son Henry dedicated back to God.
In Luke 2:22 we read that Mary and Joseph brought their baby Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem in order to present him before the Lord. In the same way, Kemu & Emily today bring their son Henry; presenting first themselves and then Henry before the Lord our God.
Accompanying them in making this commitment are Henry’s godparents, Melisa Comey & Edwin Whippy as well our family and friends.
Kemu & Emily I call your attention to the commands of God recorded Deuteronomy 6:4-7 tells us:
“Hear O Israel: The Lord our God is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
Emily and Kemu:
Today, we bring our son Henry to be dedicated to God. We acknowledge and honor our family and friends who are present here today. We also acknowledge and honor our ancestors who have passed on and left a lasting legacy – a legacy of serving God and others. They chose to serve God and we believe that their choice has influenced us to make this same choice. We acknowledge that by dedicating Henry, we are promising to raise him in a godly way – lovingly and prayerfully until his is old enough to make his own choice as to how he wants to live his life. We hope and pray that Henry will grow up and make the right choice. The choice to serve God and others. The choice not to conform to the patterns of this world.
By dedicating Henry, we also acknowledge that any choice that Henry will make in the future will be shaped by those that surround him. For this reason, we would like to make a public commitment today to devote ourselves to serving the Lord and teaching Henry about the kingdom of God. We have invited you our friends and family here today to witness this commitment and ask that you help Kemu & Emily to raise Henry according to this promise.
Kemu & Emily love God and teach Henry to do the same. As you love God and one another you will model before Henry a wonderful love that he will want for himself.
Kemu & Emily, by coming forward before God and his people, do you hereby declare your desire to dedicate yourselves and Henry to the Lord? “We do.”
Parents Hopes & Promises
Henry we hope that
- you will come to know and give your life to Jesus
- your life becomes all that you want it to be
- you will find fulfillment in the simple things in life
- you will become aware of the injustices in the world and find courage to take action
As your parents we promise to
- Provide a Christian home full of love and guidance
- Create an environment for you to explore your faith
- Love you for who you are
- And to try and be the best parents we can that will support and laugh with you.
Modeling this kind of love cannot be done alone. It requires the help of others. For this reason, Kemu & Emily call upon the help of Melissa & Edwin. I now direct my questions to you. By coming forward before God and his people, do you hereby declare your desire to help Kemu & Emily to fulfill the promise they have just made by becoming Henry’s godparents? (“We do.”)
Finally, I ask that the church, our friends and family make a promise as well. There’s an old proverb that says “it takes a village to raise a child.” Parents have first responsibility. But parents need the help and support of their community. So I direct my questions now to the community. By being present today, do you hereby declare to help Kemu & Emily to raise Henry according to their promise? please respond by saying “we do.” (“We do.”)
Offerring of Symbols:
Various items of significance were presented included a kava bowl, a model outrigger canoe, a woven mat and fan, ‘Broom Broom’ cars, a Bible and a book of Shakespeare. Participants were invited to sign a card and write and draw blessings for Henry.
Henry, for you Jesus Christ has come and has lived; life in all its fullness. For you he endured the agony of Gethsemane and the darkness of the cross; with which we mark you now.
For you he has uttered the cry, ‘It is accomplished!’ For you, he has triumphed over death; for you he prays at God’s right hand; all for you, little child, even though you do not know it.
The blessing of the God of Sarah and of Abraham
The blessing of the Son, born of Mary,
The blessing of the Spirit, who broods over us
As a mother over her children
Be with you now and forever
“I need the help of my old friend Theo…”
“Ninety two years ago my parents brought me to be presented and they set my feet upon the path which they have followed and I have followed ever since and I am thankful for that and I trust Henry will also be thankful for that. And so we ask a blessing as we finish this service.”
“Loving Heaveanly Father, you who loved the children, we ask that you would specially welcome Henry today. We remember how important it is that the path is laid out for the child, so that he has the choice whether to follow it or not. We pray that this little one will follow it. We pray that as I have had a wonderful life, following in that way, discovering all kinds of things, so will Henry also. That he would be a truly successful person, not in the amount of money he earns or ammasses, but truly successful, a blessing to everyone he knows. Amen”
You are God’s servants, gifted with dreams and visions,
Upon you rests the grace of God, like flames of fire,
Love and serve the Lord in the strength of the Spirit.
May the deep peace of Christ be with you,
The strong arms of God sustain you,
And the power of the Holy Spirit strengthen you in every way.