So when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city,
Joseph and Mary were committed to God and to each other. This gave a stable foundation for a solid home life.
The foundation is crucial. Recall what Jesus taught:
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” (
Joseph and Mary’s stability is seen IN THEIR OWN DEDICATION.
And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called JESUS, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb. Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the LORD”), and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.” (
The key phrases are: “according to the law” (v.22); “as it is written” (v.23); “according to what is said” (v.24). A solid foundation is laid on bedrock Biblical truth. Jesus said that those who built on the rock are, “whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them.” (emphasis added)
The adoptive father Joseph and the biological mother Mary demonstrated stability IN THE OFFSPRING’S DEDICATION.
Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the LORD”) (
We give our children back to God who gave them to us. They are on loan to us, but we must acknowledge that God’s purposes for them, rather than our plans, are paramount.
No child is an “accident.” We may not have planned the pregnancy—certainly Mary did not! Yet, God from all eternity had this birth conceived in His mind before the Child was conceived in the womb. So, it is for God’s surprises to us which are never a surprise for Him!
There are seasons of the year when God blesses our congregation with these tiny ones. We will have a baby dedication for parents and infants. In doing this, we are publicly following the Biblical example and exhorting fathers and mothers to privately model that dedication. There is no saving efficacy to our action. Each child has to make their own commitment to Christ when they come of age. What we do is covenant to pray for their soul and partner with the parents as a church to create an environment conducive to lead them to repentance and regeneration.
We cannot guarantee a child will grow up to follow Christ because of parental commitment, and, thankfully, we do not assume a child must reject faith because parents fail to follow Christ. Some grow up in a model home and spurn the faith of father and mother. Some grow up in a hellhole and are rescued by a loving Heavenly Father. What we can guarantee is that in providing a spiritual climate most fertile for sowing the seed of the Gospel and cultivating the soil of their soul, that the best opportunity is provided for young folks to come to Christ.
There is hope for the family that has parents who build a home on a stable foundation of knowing and modeling God’s Word in faithfulness.