Date: 4 May 2014
TO: Manantial de Gracia
Title: In Peace and Love you are dedicated

Introduction / Introduccion
Our sacred scriptures teach us about the consecration of infants to the Lord. In this dedication we publicly ask the Lord for his blessing now and in the future life of LVS. We perform this act of thanksgiving and faith with the assurance that ” such is the kingdom of heaven.” / Las sagradas escrituras nos ensenan sobre la consagracion de infants al Senor. En esta dedicacion publica solicitamos al Senor su bendicion ahora y para la vida future de LVS. Realizamos este acto con accion de gracias y en fe con la seguridad de que “de los tales es el reino de los cielos.”

Bible Readings / Lecturas Biblicas
In the book of Mark 10: 13-16, the Bible says,
The people brought children to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus was irate and let them know it: “Don’t push these children away. Don’t ever get between them and me. These children are at the very center of life in the kingdom. Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in. Then, gathering the children up in his arms, he laid his hands of blessing on them.

In the book of Matthew 19:13-15, the Bible says,
One day children were brought to Jesus in the hope that he would lay hands on them and pray over them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus intervened: “Let the children alone, don’t prevent them from coming to me. God’s kingdom is made up of people like these.” After laying hands on them, he left.

In the book of Luke 18:15-17, the Bible says,
People brought babies to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. When the disciples saw it, they shooed them off. Jesus called them back. “Let these children alone. Don’t get between them and me. These children are the kingdom’s pride and joy. Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.

In the book of 1 Samuel 1: 20, 24-28, the Bible says,
Before the year was out, Hannah had conceived and given birth to a son. She named him Samuel, explaining, “I asked God for him.” Elkanah said to his wife, “Do what you think is best. Stay home until you have weaned him. Yes! Let God complete what he has begun!” So she did. She stayed home and nursed her son until she had weaned him. Then she took him up to Shiloh, bringing also the makings of a generous sacrificial meal—a prize bull, flour, and wine. The child was so young to be sent off! They first butchered the bull, then brought the child to Eli. Hannah said, “Excuse me, sir. Would you believe that I’m the very woman who was standing before you at this very spot, praying to God? I prayed for this child, and God gave me what I asked for. And now I have dedicated him to God. He’s dedicated to God for life.” Then and there, they worshiped God.

Call to Worship (USING….)
Brothers and sisters;
If the Lord does not build the house, it is useless for the builders to work on it. If the Lord does not protect a city,
 it is useless for the guard to stay alert.

It is useless to work hard for the food you eat
by getting up early and going to bed late.
 The Lord gives food to those he loves while they sleep. Children are an inheritance from the Lord. They are a reward from him. The children born to a man when he is young
are like arrows in the hand of a warrior.

Blessed is the man who has filled his quiver with them.
 He will not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the city gate.

Si el Señor no construye la casa,
de nada sirve que trabajen los constructores;
si el Señor no protege la ciudad,
de nada sirve que vigilen los centinelas. De nada sirve trabajar de sol a sol
y comer un pan ganado con dolor,
cuando Dios lo da a sus amig@s mientras duermen. L@s hij@s que nos nacen
son ricas bendiciones del Señor. L@s hij@s que nos nacen en la juventud
son como flechas en manos de un guerrero. ¡Feliz el hombre [y la mujer] que tiene muchas flechas como ésas!
No será avergonzad@por sus enemigos
cuando se defienda de ellos ante los jueces. ADOREMOS!

Gospel Reading: Psalm/Salmo 112: 1-4
Hallelujah!
 Blessed man, blessed woman, who fear God,
Who cherish and relish his commandments,
Their children robust on the earth,
And the homes of the upright—how blessed! The family of a decent person will be blessed. Wealth and riches will be in his home.
His righteousness continues forever. Light will shine in the dark for a decent person.
 He is merciful, compassionate, and fair.

¡Alabemos a nuestro Dios! ¡Dios bendice a quienes lo adoran
y gozan cumpliendo sus mandamientos! Los hijos de la gente honrada
dominarán el país
y serán siempre bendecidos. Tendrán en su casa muchas riquezas,
y siempre triunfarán en todo. Como son bondadosos,
justos y compasivos,
guiarán a la gente honrada
como una luz en la oscuridad.

CEREMONY DEDICATING INFANTS
CEREMONIA DEDICACION DE INFANTES

Prayer of Thanksgiving / Oracion de Accion de Gracias
Oh God, we give thanks today for your love and blessings in our lives. We thank you for this LVS who we dedicate in your presence just as they presented Jesus in the temple on the eighth day after his birth. Lord, we thank you for these parents, godparents and witnesses who commit to guide her in your teachings. Thank you, O God, impart your blessings, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen. / Oh Dios, te damos hoy las gracias por tu amor y tu bendicion en nuestras vidas. Gracia por LVS que hoy dedicamos ante tu presencia del mismo modo que presentaron a Jesus en el temple a los ocho dias de nacido. Gracias por sus padres, sus padrinos y por estos testigos que se comprometen a guiarle an la ensenanze y el temor tuyo. Gracias, Oh Dios, impartenos tu bendicion, en el nombre de nuestro Senor Jesucristo, Amen.

Question to the Parents / Pregunta a los Padres
Pastor: Before God and these witnesses, V and J, do you promise to raise LVS in the fear of God? If so answer, “With God’s help.”

Pastor: Do you promise to guide L in the knowledge of God? If so answer, “With God’s help.”

Pastor: Do you promise to teach L in the doctrine and teachings of God? If so answer, “With God’s help.”

Pastor: We know that you will pray for your daughter, as you do for your son. Do you also promise to teach them how to pray, to read them Bible stories, to bring them to Sunday School, to let them see you give your time, your talents, and your offering, and to participate as a family in the life of the church? If so answer, “Yes.”

Pastor: Do you promise to create a loving home that will nurture L’s faith so that she will come to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior? If so answer, “Yes.”

Pastor: Do you dedicate this child to God? If so answer, “Yes.”

Pastor: As you have promise before God and these witnesses to raise your child in understanding and love to God, I hope that you take the time to comply with your promise in wisdom and understanding.
Question to the God Parents
Pastor: Do you, D and M, promise to help V and J in raising L, not in the way that you think best, but in accordance with their Godly believes? Remembering that this child has been entrusted to them by God’s will? If so answer, “Yes.”

Question to those Gathered
Pastor: Do you, Manantial de Gracia, promise to pray for L, her brother E and their parents, V and J, so they will be able to see the importance of raising them as God has commanded and by your fellowship to strengthen their ties with the family of God? If so, answer “We will.”

Pastor: Do you as a congregation promise to undertake the responsibility of assisting these parents in the Christian nurture of their children? If so, answer “We will.”

Sermon
Today we have a special blessing in our congregation. Our newest baby is being dedicated to God. Today we offer special blessings for LVS and we join her parents in saying that we will take a part in being responsible for her upbringing. Today we remember another mother who also dedicated her child to God, Hannah. In 1 Samuel 1: 20, 24-28, we hear the story of a woman who wanted to be a mother so bad that she went to the temple and prayed for God to bless her womb.

As she visited the temple with her family, in her anguish, she cried out to God, asking that he remember her. And she vowed that if God would give her a son, she would dedicate her child to God and that no razor would come upon his head (meaning she would raise him to work in the temple). A servant of God, Eli saw her in the temple and after hearing that she was praying, he told her to go in peace: and that the God of Israel would grant her petition.

Time passed and she became pregnant, and when she gave birth to her son, her husband made a sacrifice in the temple, but she stayed home until the child was weaned. When the child was ready to be without her, she made a sacrificial meal (meat, flour, and wine). And she dedicated her son to God, leaving him at the temple. And, “then and there, they worshipped God.”

Today V and J bring their child, L, before God and the church to publicly dedicate her life to God.

But, as I thought about L I realized that today as we pray for her, in Nigeria there are more than 300 missing girls. Their parents have prayed for them, their communities have prayed for them and today, as we pray for L, I ask that we pray for them. Realizing and remembering that she is protected in our embrace. Realizing that unfortunately, all we can do for them is turn them over to God. Realizing that all we can do for our children is turn them over to a loving God, who can wipe their tears.

Yesterday in Union Square, NY women were asked to wear their crowns and join together in prayer for those abducted girls. As we pray for our L, I ask that we pray for those girls as well.

Anointing / Bendicion
LVS with this oil and the pastoral authority granted to me we will anoint and accept you as a member of the body of Christ and this church. I know invite some members of the church to share their special blessings for this child:

LVS, con este aceite y con la autoridad pastoral que se me ha otorgado nosotros te vamos a ungir y a aceptarte como miembro del cuerpo de Cristo y de esta iglesia. Ahora invitamos algunos miembros de la iglesia a que compartan una bendicion especial con esta nina:

Blessings /Bendiciones
Yo, Marianny, toco tu boca y declaro que esta hablara verdad en la vida de mucha gente… / I, Marianny, touch your mouth and declare that it will speak truth in many people’s lives…

Yo, Yamila, toco tus pies y declaro que ellos suguiran los pasos trazados por dios todos los dias de tu vida… / I, Yamila, touch your feet and declared that they will follow god’s steps all the days of your life…

Yo, Maritza, toco tus oidos y los declaro abiertos a escuchar la palabra de dios y que esta sea tu gia para siempre… / I, Maritza, touch your ears and declare them open to hearing the word of god and that this word be your guide always…

Yo, David, toco tus ojos y declaro que estos veran el mundo tal como dios lo ve… / I, David, touch your eyes and declare that these will see the world just as god sees it…

Yo, Idalberto, toco tus manos y declaro que creceras para traer el proposito de dios en tu vida y en la vida de muchos / I, Idalberto, touch your hands and declare that your will grow to bring the purpose of god in your life and the lives of many

Yo, Elivette, toco tu corazon y declaro que el amor y la gracia de dios estara siempre contigo… / I, Elivette, touch your heart and declare that the love and grace of god will always be with you…

LVS, we dedicate you to God, our Supreme Creator, to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and to the Holy Spirit, our counselor and protector. May God bless you and keep you all the days of your life. Amen.

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12, NIV

Each of the people here together serves as a witness of this strand of three.

L today you don’t understand, but you have a job and a responsibility to learn, to LISTEN TO THE WORD OF GOD, that God’s purpose may someday become clear in your life.

V and J, as parents you have a responsibility over L and E, God has entrusted them into your care and responsibility. Remember, the road can be hard, the journey may feel long, but God is with you every step of the way.

And, Manantial de Gracia, we have a responsibility as well, this family needs strength and fellowship. The journey is hard, the way is far, but together, and with God’s help we can get through anything.

L as a minister of God, together with your parents, who love and care for you; and your god-parents, who care for you and your future; and with the anointing of the Holy Spirit I bear witness to your parents who dedicate you to God, surrounding you with the protection and the power of God, I, with them, claim your life for God knowing that you already belong to Him forever. With this oil I anoint you. Amen!

Pastoral Prayer and Benediction
Eternal God and Father, by whose power we are created and by whose love we are redeemed: guide and strengthen us by your Spirit, that we may give ourselves to your service, learning, teaching and being renewed, that we may live this week being examples to one another of your overabundant love; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.

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