On May 9, 2011 Dee's ministry at Berea First Baptist Church came to an end and our family began the "Unexpected Adventure" of building a bridge to a new future. Through this blog, we invite you to share this journey with us.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Dedication Day

I had the honor and joy of leading the dedication service of my grandson, Liam, at Bethel Baptist Church in Monetta, SC, on Sunday, September 4.  Let me share the thoughts I wrote for the occasion.    

This is such a happy and holy moment for our family and, I know, for this church family. 

I am Elizabeth’s father, Josh’s father-in-law, Linda’s husband, Andrew’s dad, but most of all today I am Liam’s Papa Dee. 

We’re here today to celebrate a miracle, to thank God for the life of Joshua Liam Davison and dedicate him to God. 

In truth, we’re here to dedicate ourselves to the holy work of teaching Liam to love God and live for Him, to “train up this child in the way he should go, so that when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

As we take this sacred step together, I want to speak first to Joshua and Elizabeth as Liam’s parents, then to those of us who are blessed to be a part of Liam’s extended family, and then to all of you who will be his church family.  All of us have a part to play in the unfolding miracle of his life. 

Joshua and Elizabeth, I can still remember the night that you called to tell Linda and me that you had a child on the way.  I was upstairs in our home working at the computer.  When I heard the news, I froze for a long long time.  But now, here you are, parents.  Liam will learn more from you than from any other people in this world.  You are his first teachers.  You are his first theologians.  You are his first coaches.  You are his first counselors. From you, he will learn how life works.  Both of you hold very important jobs, Elizabeth as a teacher, a shaper of young lives, and Josh as a pastor, a shepherd of God’s flock.  But other than the call to follow Jesus and to be faithful to each other, loving Liam is your highest and holiest calling. 

So I ask you, “Will you strive to be the parents that God calls you to be?  Will you show the love of Jesus in your words and your ways?  Will you worship Christ in this church-house and in your house? Will you raise this beautiful boy in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, praying for the day when he will receive Christ as his Savior and follow Him as Lord?  If you will strive to be parents like this, say, “We will.” 

Family, we are here, beaming with pride and joy and thankful for God’s goodness that allows us to share our lives with Liam.  Each of us has a part to play in the unfolding miracle of his life.  If you will join me in pledging your prayers, your hands-on help, your wisdom, and your love to this child and his parents, say “We will.” 

Church family, you are called to continue the work of Jesus, to take little children into your arms and into your hearts, to teach them the scriptures and the songs, to show them Christ’s love and give them His blessing.  If you will promise to be God’s family to Liam and all of the children in your care, say “We will.” 

Let us seal these promises we’ve made in a moment of prayer.

A wise man has said that every baby brings the message that the world must go on.  Children are messengers of hope.  As we close this dedication service, let us sing and celebrate the hope that is ours because Jesus lives.  

How sweet to hold a newborn baby
And feel the pride and joy he gives
But greater still, the calm assurance
This child can face uncertain days because He lives
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living just because He lives!

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