Every February TCOC centers one of our worship gatherings on the newest additions to our faith community. On Celebration of Life Sunday we pray blessings over the children who arrived within the last year.
We value the power of blessing. Blessing inaugurates a favored future. It initiates a desired future in the present moment by speaking it into existence. On Celebration of Life Sunday, the faith community, through blessing, chooses God for the child while she is incapable of choosing him for herself.
We take our cue from Numbers 6:22-27, one of the most popular and oft-quoted biblical blessings. In verse 27 God explains to Moses that through this prayer of blessing the priests "...put my [God's] name on the Israelites." On Celebration of Life Sunday we put God's name on the new lives he has entrusted to us. Below you will find the communal prayer we prayed yesterday.
Almighty Creator of all life, we come to you on behalf of our newest and youngest additions and ask you to use this community of Jesus-followers as your instruments in shaping these beautiful babies into the image of Jesus Christ.
Father, give us…
So that we will affirm the value of each child today.
So that we will know how to act in the best interest of each child.
So that we will teach each child what is best.
So that we will be the child’s voice when she cannot speak for herself.
So that we will demonstrate for each child a full life in you.
So that each child will understand that her identity comes from you and not her success or failure.
So that we will never give up on each child’s future.
So that we will extend grace when each child needs it most.
So that each child will feel at home among us.
And Father, give us your Spirit so that each child will see you reflected in us. We commit these children to your care and we commit ourselves to caring for these children.
LEADER:In the name of Jesus, the Risen Savior, amen!