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INFANT RITES

How to transcend the cute kid syndrome in dedications and baptisms.

The Mother's Day dedication service was moving toward its conclusion. The last of the six beautiful babies was being presented to the Lord. Solemn questions had been asked of the parents:

"Will you, by God's help, provide a Christian home for this child and bring her up in the worship and teaching of the church, that she may come to know Jesus Christ as her Savior and follow him as Lord?"

"We will," the glad parents responded.

"Will you, members of this congregation, be faithful to your calling as members of the body of Christ, so that this child and all other children in your midst may grow up in the knowledge and love of him?"

"We will," said the united congregation.

It was a holy moment. Many eyes glistened among the adults. Children looked on in wide-eyed wonder at this re-enactment of the ancient ritual. The infant Jesus was again in the Temple, Simeon looking for the consolation of Israel, Anna praising God.

As I pronounced the benediction on the last peaceful child, holding her in my ...

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