It was a Sunday morning when the church was making the usual preparations for their worship assembly, but this particular Sunday, another event was taking place, too. It was an annual event where all the younger babies in the church received blessings as their families made a public declaration to dedicate their child to the Lord. The ceremony also called on the parents to make a vow to be a Christian parent, devoted to bringing up their child to learn Christian principles, along with the promise of the church family to pray for them and help in every way. This was the way this congregation chose to promise to be a nurturing influence on the young families.
Following the worship service on that Sunday, several of the families of these new babies had gathered on the front steps of the church for pictures and to visit a bit. One grandmother was attempting to hold her grandchild while digging through her purse for a camera. Realizing she needed a little help, the grandfather offered to hold the baby while grandma found her camera.
When there were some free hands, the grandfather passed the child off to someone else and retreated for a moment to be alone. He later confessed the holding of the baby on that occasion had a tremendous impact on him. He had assumed his roll of responsibility in assisting in the upbringing of his own grandchild, but suddenly realized the vow of prayer and assistance in the raising of all the babies introduced that day. He made the rounds to find as many of those families as he could. He wanted to hold each child and snuggle them close to his heart while making the promise that he would lead an exemplary life and be available anytime these children needed him.
Maybe your church observes this practice, too, or something similar. It makes me want to make sure those babies grow up knowing they are loved by their church family, and every member has seriously accepted the responsibility of being near, to be available and eager to help these kids to grow up knowing Jesus.
So this brings me to ask you, and every adult Christian, to remember making those promises and to do something every Sunday to make these families welcome in your church. Learn their names and show you care about their problems and struggles. You can be a blessing to each one, and at the same time, give them the example of an entire church standing with them as they cultivate and ultimately reap the harvest of growing up with a church family. Oh, and you, being a blessing to them, will receive countless blessings yourself.
Matthew 18:1-5 "At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me."