Dear Stephen and Elizabeth,
Tomorrow morning you will stand before the church of Jesus Christ and make a public profession of your faith. This is an exciting day for us. We, as your parents, have had this day in mind for many years.
You see, even back before you came into this world, you were very special to us, and more important than that is the fact that you were special to God. In Psalm 139 we read that God knew you and laid his hand upon you.
We brought you as infants before the church to receive the sacrament of baptism. In the church we acknowledged your need for baptism and we promised to instruct you in the Christian faith as summarized by the confession and catechisms of our church. We promised to pray with and for you, to set a godly example before you, and to endeavor to bring you up in the fear and admonition of the Lord.
Yes, we did bring you to church. In fact, with few exceptions, you were there every Sunday. How appreciative we are to the church for the important place that it has had. We know that the church loved you from your infancy. As we look back through the years we recall the many people in the church who loved and cared about you as you were growing up. You waited with delight by the front door of the church for those whom you knew loved you. Your Sunday school teachers were very important to you and helped tremendously in your nurture.
From your infancy you were brought into the worship service. We know that you didn’t always understand what was being said, and sometimes it was hard for you to sit for such a long time. Nevertheless, you learned that worship was very important and you grew into faith by observing and participating.
As your parents, we are aware of our failures in keeping the promises that we made at your baptism. How grateful we are to our covenant God, who has mercifully dealt with us and with you in bringing you to the point where you want to make this profession.
We have been thankful for our denomination. You learned at an early age that the church of Jesus Christ was much broader than our own church here. You heard our missionaries speak and you learned of the work of our presbytery and of our denomination. You learned to support God’s kingdom with your prayers and offerings.
Then there is Great Commission Publications. What would your training have been without the help of our Sunday school and vacation Bible school materials. Also, our Trinity Hymnal has been a great blessing to you as you learned to sing praises to your Creator.
We are especially thankful for the catechism, children’s Bible story books, and books on Bible doctrine that have taught you about your relationship with God. These helped to explain biblical truths in a much clearer way than we could.
Most of the people who have influenced you will not be with us tomorrow as we celebrate. Many have joined the church triumphant. We will always praise God for providing a secure, caring, loving environment for your nurture in his church.
It is with gratitude to God that we express our joy for his lending you to us for these few years. We are grateful for the confidence expressed in Philippians 1:6, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.
This letter was originally published in New Horizons January, 1992.