Tuesday, February 10, 2009


This evening Lezlie and I lit the dedication candle to remember dedicating Israel to God last February 10th. These were my thoughts that day last year.


Some time ago, when I was young in Christ, I read through the life and adventures of David. Of course many of the stories struck me, but one of them comes to memory today, one I'd not heard before, and I haven't heard of since. I don't remember exactly where this story was, and in my cursory look back I wasn't able to find it, but I'll just tell it to you how I remember it.

David and his men were in the midst of battle. They were surrounded by a greater force, and it seems to my memory that they were backed into a cave, or surrounded in some city or something. After hours (or maybe even days) of fighting David called out saying “Oh! What I would do to have just a drink from [a certain] well!” Two of his loyal men heard him and decided that they would get their leader the drink the he so desired. So these two men risked their lives and fought through the enemy ranks. Escaping out into the open they ran as fast as they could to the well David had mentioned, drew a bowl full of water, and ran it back to the place of battle. Then after fighting their way back into the thick of the battle they found their beloved leader and presented him with his request.
David was flabbergasted. He was so overwhelmed with the honor and the extent to which these men had gone that he could not receive the gift. The greatness of the gift was too much for him to keep for himself. So instead of draining this bowl David poured it out as a drink offering to God.
After reading this story as a young man I was shook. What a crazy response! Here these guys risked their lives to get him this drink, and he goes and pours it out on the ground. On the other hand I understand it. How could he drink it? This gift was too much of an honor for any man to accept for himself. In that respect it was perfectly fitting for him to give this offering to God, and not keep it to himself.
So Lezlie and I have been planning this baby dedication for our child, Israel for a few weeks now. When Z first came to me with the idea I agreed to it, but not because I was into it, only because I felt like I should, and because this is one of the things that we do in this certain churchy culture that we're in. I felt like this is just what we do so that we don't have to say that we've baptized our children, so that we can feel superior to other parts of the Church.
So I thought about it some. “Why are we doing this?” I thought.

Then the other day as I was working I realized what this dedication is. It is my pouring out the bowl of water that is just too great of an offering for me to accept. It is my wife and my choice to give this wonderful gift back the the giver, knowing that we cannot raise him correctly, but also that our Creator can raise him correctly. To that end this dedication is also an invitation, permission, for God to work through his body: the Church, to hold us to this pouring out of our gift to God.
We do this because this gift is so great. We do this because we can't do it ourselves. We do this in thanks and humility recognizing our own limits, and God's limitlessness. We do this dedication as an act of community within the body of Christ.

Amen and amen.

It's good for me to remember why we did that. May it be so.

1 comment:

Connie, the daisyhead said...

Amen, brother!

Isn't the Father so good to us?!