Most of us have experienced the dedication of a park, stadium, public building, playing field, perhaps even a freeway or a shopping mall.This past July saw the solemn dedication of Christ Cathedral. In the spring, we will have the dedication of the newly renovated Hazel Wright Pipe Organ in Christ Cathedral.To dedicate something means we are setting it apart for a specific purpose.

The Presentation of the Lord celebrates the day Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple to be dedicated to God.This was no ordinary child.As the elderly prophet Simeon reflected, this child would be a light to the Gentiles and the glory of Israel (Luke 2:22-40).This child, God’s Son, was being set apart to change the course of human history.

On the day of our Baptism, we were dedicated to God.We were set apart as God’s daughters and sons to bring God’s life and love to the world. Being dedicated to God means our sins do not have to get the best of us. We have been freed from the slavery of sin through the death and resurrection of Jesus (Hebrews 2:14-18). God wants us to be free of carrying heavy burdens of guilt because we know his forgiving love.

Being dedicated to God means that, like a refiner who purifies gold of its imperfections, God works with us in our imperfections (Malachi 3:1-4).It means being willing to say, okay God, I have got this or that weakness and with your help, I am willing to do what is needed to get better.Instead of our world falling apart when we realize we need to make changes, we say thank you to God because something new can happen to us.

Being dedicated to God means we are a light to the world.To an often cold and cynical world, we can bring a perspective of hope because we know God is with us.It means that each of us brings our own unique light.If we withhold our goodness, the world forever loses an opportunity to be a better place because we were here.With Jesus our Light, we too, have been set apart to change the world.

Together in faith,

The Very Rev. Christopher Smith, rector