Please read Nehemiah 12:27-46.
This portion of Scripture tells the story of the great day of celebration when Israel dedicated the wall of Jerusalem. This dedication was not a celebration of themselves or their personal accomplishments. It was an acknowledgement that God had brought them thus far, and that they would continue to put their trust in Him.
While I do not believe that dedication ceremonies are called for in the case of our homes or meeting houses, I do believe we should make it clear that these places are dedicated for the worship of God. Then, we should act in them accordingly.
In our homes, we should realize that all that we have is a blessing from God. As a family, we should live holy and righteous to the best of our ability. We should make Godly decisions with our finances, entertainment, and education of not only our children but the parents as well. We should also make it clear, by our behavior, that we expect any guest in our home to honor God with their words and deeds.
Our meeting houses should be houses of worship. Whether we are meeting in formal worship, Bible study, a meal, or for fellowship we must remember that we exist to glorify God. Our minds should be humble and grateful every time we enter the building, and we should be filled with joy that we are blessed to have a safe meeting house.
Our houses of worship should receive at least as much care and upkeep as our personal homes. An ornate structure is not necessary, and could possibly be distracting. But a a well kept structure and grounds shows thankfulness to God for the gift of the meeting house.
This dedication can easily be embodied in our homes and houses of worship, but it goes much further than that. These verses in Nehemiah end with the reaction of the people to the proclaimed dedication. They respond with work and worship toward God. Likewise, we should dedicate our lives to God and then LIVE IT!
I recall the words of the hymn writer Isaac Watts:
“Thus far the Lord hath led me on,
Thus far His power prolongs my days,
And every evening shall make known
Some fresh memorial of His grace.”