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Summary: This message was delivered as part of Baby Dedication Sunday.

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Today is a special day as we have 11 babies that are here to be dedicated by their parents. Before we do that let me share with you some important things about children…

In this life there are certain "Rites of Passage". Some are connected to the passage of years. For example when you reached age 5 and got to go to school after waiting for all those years - then you reached age 18 and graduated from H.S. and didn’t have to go to school any more.

There was age 16 – when you got your drivers license and your first real taste of freedom and of course your first speeding ticket a month later and your first real taste of the price of freedom

Then there was age 21 – when you got to vote and drink and your realization that both can cause a lot of problems.

There are other "Rites of Passage" connected to the passage of events like your first job and your first car – (mine was a 1965 Ford Falcon – green). Then there was your first date – we don’t need to discuss that catastrophe – which my mom wrote about to the entire world in her annual Christmas letter.

There was the first kiss, your wedding day, and finally, the birth of your child and then you get to see it all again – through their eyes.

There are other rites of passge connected to time. The aches and Pains; spare tires and bulging spares that come with the years.

I remember being 35 and saying to a friend, “I don’t feel 35!”. That year someone turned off my metabolism and I gained 25lbs in three months.

There is the dreaded black 40th birthday party – nothing is worse except perhaps the 50th birthday which followed the year after – it seems.

I have reached another event marking the passage of time – yesterday, at Burger King, the girl at the counter, a rather inconsiderate and rude child, gave me my first – unsolicited – cup of senior citizen coffee for a quarter and my wife laughed. Now, she didn’t just smirk and giggle a little. She hew-hawed so hard that tears came down her face. I thought she was going to roll on the floor.

Even so, the best and the most wonderful rite of passage is the children that God gives us as his gift to us.

God - has high regard for kids. Look at what David writes in Psalms 127:3-5

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,

The fruit of the womb is a reward.

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,

So are the children of one’s youth.

Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them…

Jesus has a high regard for children too. Look at his words in Matthew 18:1-6 (NLT)

“About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Which of us is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?”

Jesus called a small child over to him and put the child among them. “Then he said, I assure you, unless you turn from your sins and become as little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. Therefore, anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who trusts in me to lose faith, it would be better for that person to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around the neck.”

We are commanded to teach our children about the love of God

And look at the instructions Moses delivered to Israel concerning the raising of children.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD; and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.

And these words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

And you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.

And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Teach them diligently

And these words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

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