Christmas 2012 will forever be a special yuletide for the family of my husband. My father-in-law was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer before Christmas that year. After that news, the entire family made a conscious decision to make most of the TIME.
Steve wanted his dad to be present at every important event he could witness. So we decided to rush the Child Dedication of Joshua.
The preparation was short…We only had a week and half to prepare. We also wanted it to be attended only by an intimate few. Because besides Joshua, the other most important person in this event, is Dad. He was so excited to see his grandson’s christening.
As a new mom of a 1 month old baby at that time, I did not get enough sleep. I have to say that the event was arranged by the grace of God. I have to thank all that pitched in. My sister-in-law, Pria, helped me connect with the caterer, and she took charge of the cup cake give-away. My twin sister, Monique, lent us their sound system, projector screen. My brother-in-law, John Mateos Ong, took care of taking photos to document the Dedication. My brother Gino and his praise & worship band took care of the music. We were so privileged that Pastor Peter Tanchi was available to minister the Child Dedication. We were also happy that the chosen godparents made themselves available to attend. God was making all things fall into place.
The Child Dedication is an important milestone in our family. The physical preparation is one thing, but this event was a God-moment for us. I was reading Exodus and here God was very clear. Exodus 22:29 “Do not wait before giving Me a gift from your gathered grain and the fruit of your fields.
You will give to Me the first-born of your sons.
As I continued reading, God was speaking louder about who Joshua is to us… Exodus 34:19 “Every first-born belongs to Me.
In my heart, I understood this clearly. Joshua, our first-born son is a blessing and a gift from God, but he really isn’t ours. He is ultimately the Lord’s. We are just stewards of his life and we are to raise Him to fear and love God.
Again, I am reminded of Hannah. She waited on The Lord for years to conceive a child. When God fulfilled His promise to her, she vowed her son, Samuel, to be God’s. Here is the account of Hannah speaking to Eli the high priest, “She said, “Oh, my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you, praying to the Lord. For this boy I prayed, and the Lord has given me my petition which I asked of Him. So I have also dedicated him to the Lord; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the Lord.” (1 Samuel 1:26-28 NASB).
Pastor Peter exhorted that when we dedicate the child to the Lord, we are giving back the child to God, and trusting that God will take care of him. We, his parents must walk with the Lord Jesus. So that one day, Joshua will make the decision to follow Jesus and publicly declare it in baptism. The godparents also will be our witness and Joshua’s support when he needs it. I was so delighted that everyone prayed a blessing over Joshua and it was declared that God will raise him up and will use him mightily.
To cap the Child Dedication, we also dedicated Dad Ruben’s life to God too! Everyone prayed over him, and it blessed him so much… As I look back, Daddy Ben was so happy that day. He did not mind people seeing him in a wheel chair. He savored that moment to be part of this family affair.
Daddy Ben, joined the Lord in March 2013. We all miss him a lot. But we know that he surrendered his life to Jesus and he dedicated his life to the Lord. Thus, we know that this is just a momentary separation until we all join him in heaven.