“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”John 10:27-29
I’ll never forget the day that we had our babies dedicated. The days leading up to the selected Sunday were filled with shopping for just the right outfit, inviting friends and family, selecting the food to celebrate with our loved ones, and finally hurrying around the house, getting ourselves ready for the big moment.
Of course, there are those unspoken challenges of finding the next best outfit when our honored child decided to soil the first one in various ways, and then the next best outfit for me since, I too, had found myself in the way of the projectile. Oh the stress that we went through to make that moment special and memorable in our hearts. It makes me wonder why we put ourselves through all of the stress and scramble for a few minutes of celebration and ceremony.
After some study, I have discovered why dedication is important to Christian families. Dedication is defined as “an act of setting apart or consecrating persons or things to God.” The act is usually accompanied by an announcement of what is being done or intended and by prayer asking for God’s approval and blessing. You see, it was the Lord Himself who instituted the ceremony of dedication. In the Old Testament, He dedicated, or set apart, the nation of Israel, the Levitical priests, the altar in the temple, and the walls of Jerusalem to name a few. And in the New Testament, He set apart His Church to Himself. Every believer is set apart, sanctified, dedicated “to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5).
And here we find the focus and intent of God’s plan through the dedication of His only Son Jesus. Jesus describes His own dedication in John 10 by describing Himself as the door of the sheep, and that He has come that we might have life in abundance. He continues by calling himself the Good Shepherd, who knows His sheep and will lay down His life for them.
It is right here in John 10:22-42 that we discover that we are set apart, sanctified, dedicated to Jesus from our Father in heaven. On the day that Jesus rose from the grave and fulfilled what the Lord had dedicated Him to do, He dedicated every believer to Himself forever, never losing one, never having one snatched from His hand.
So this is why we celebrate in ceremony through dedication. The Lord began the act by dedicating His Son to be the Savior of the world, and as believers we are dedicated to the Savior to offer the sacrifice of worship, praise, and adoration to Him. I’d say this is worth every minute of the sacrifice to make our dedication to the Lord known to all and to commemorate in every way that we can.