Friday, February 01, 2008

Baby Blessing

Many times I've considered posting our order of worship with an explanation about the thought process behind the songs chosen and the general flow. I think I'll try it this week...you guys let me know if it's anything you would want to read on a regular basis.

This week is our annual Baby Blessing at Memorial Drive. We have 11 new ones to celebrate and 22 parents to encourage.



Here's the plan. Songs are in yellow.

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I Was Made for This

Welcome & Announcements

Introduction of Newborns and Parents
Presentation of Bibles
Shepherd's Blessing of Babies

Tell Me the Story of Jesus

Lord's Supper
During Bread:
Jesus Let Us Come to Know You
During Cup: As the Deer Thirsts

During Offering: Open Our Eyes, Lord

Dismiss ages 2 through 3rd Grade to Bible Hour

In Christ Alone
Holy Ground (Davis)

Shepherd's Blessing of Parents

Surround Us, Lord

Why We Do This / Congregational Charge
Shepherd's Prayer

Video (Photo album of Babies)

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Since we're celebrating new life, we'll start the day by pondering the meaning of life...the purpose of our existence. What were we all made for? How about to know and be in relationship with our Creator and Savior? That sets the framework for why we have a baby blessing day. As a group we are reminding and encouraging ourselves to help these new babies realize their purpose.

We like to introduce the babies early on in the service. When dealing with children, it's best not to make them wait too long, right? ; )

One of our shepherds will speak a blessing over the babies. Do yourself a favor some time and read some of the different blessings given in the Bible. The most well-known is probably found in Numbers 6:24-26. We like to sing that one to each other, don't we?

Having never been a parent, I can only guess on some things...but I have to think that there will be times that a baby cries and you just can't figure out what it is that they want. Perhaps those times might be good reminder that these babies are not only crying out for food, love or warmth, but also to be told about Jesus. The song "Tell Me the Story of Jesus" is really sung from the baby's perspective, at least for this Sunday.

Babies need milk about every 2 hours (so I'm told). Oh, that we would consciously recognize our need for God at least that often! While we eat the bread and drink from the cup, we'll remind ourselves of that need.

When I was a child, we had a cat who had a couple of litters of kittens. They are born with their eyes closed. I can't remember how long it takes, but it seems like at least a couple of weeks would pass before their eyes would open for the first time. Such an exciting time! In the same way, tt's so neat when our eyes open to see a small part, just a tiny glimpse of what God sees in our world. When we give, we have the privilege of participating in the kingdom in a mysterious and great way, and we pray that God would open our eyes to see Him at work through our lives.

"From life's first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny." Such a song of confidence to share together! We'll also remind each other that we are up to something holy - setting apart these babies for God's purpose and use, and our energy to encouraging them down that path.

I've heard it said that parenting is the toughest, lowest paying, most important job you'll ever have (or something like that). That's why I think we shouldn't forget to speak a blessing over the parents as well. We'll also join (via singing) in asking the Lord to surround them.

Finally, one of our shepherd's will remind the congregation why we take the time for this special day, and challenge us in our role of training, teaching, and encouraging these precious children as they grow up. Following a final prayer, we'll conclude with a video that includes pictures of all our babies.

This Sunday morning will be kingdom life at its best. Romans 12:1 tells us that the offering of our bodies as living sacrifices is our act of worship to God. That's exactly what we are doing with our Baby Blessing. Parents are offering their children and themselves to God. The congregation is offering themselves to God by committing to help train these children and support these parents. What could be more worshipful?

God bless you all, where ever you may meet with fellow disciples this weekend.

6 comments:

Lindsay said...

That's good stuff, Shane. I like hearing what your thought process is when you put together the order of worship. That's definitely something I would enjoy reading. Thanks for all the thought and effort you put into what you do at Memorial; you are a blessing to us all.

Brenda said...

I'm with Lindsey...I could read this every week. Many times we take forgranted what it takes to put a worship together and how much heart goes into it. It's nice to see how you pour your whole heart into this and share your thoughts as well.
I think for someone that doesn't have children, you did an AMAZING job for this week.

Amy Paden said...

I love seeing posts like this. I watch and help Jonathan go thru this process every week-sometimes 2 heads are better than 1!

And what Brenda said is completely right- many times people don't realize how much time and thought is put into planning and getting ready for a worship service.

Lisa Wynn said...

"You" were born for this! You should so write a book for worship leaders with your thoughts behind the service. That is more inspirational than just a book of service plans.

Shane Coffman said...

Thank you so much, Lisa.

That you would say that means a lot to me.

Jeanise said...

Any blog entry from Shane with the word "baby" in the headline gets a double-huh-take from Jeanise.

After I got over that, I thought this was AWESOME.