Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Young children like to pretend they are adults. How many of you women – when you were young – used to dress up in your mother’s clothes or put on her makeup? How many of you men would sit in the car and pretend you were driving? I use to stand in the pulpit and pretend that I was preaching. When we are young, we want to grow up so that we can do grown-up things.
We are proud of our kids when they mature and learn to do new things. We say things like, “Cammie can now ride her bike.” “Donavan is really learning to treat people with respect.” Parents know what their kids need to grow and mature.
How about in the church?
At Good Shepherd we have in our bulletin announcements every week this: “We believe children belong in worship.” And they do, you know? Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me.” Isn’t it such a blessing to watch our kids mature in their faith? They learn by our example to participate in the liturgy, to sing the hymns, to pray the Lord’s Prayer. They see older siblings serve as acolytes or ushers and then they move into that role. We nurture our children in the worship life of the church.
I have always given my wife Toni a lot of credit for this with Karson and Holden. She was the one in the pew with them. I was leading worship. I am proud of all of their accomplishments but to see them worship their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the greatest gift the Lord can give a parent. I look forward to them being the spiritual leaders of their own household.
Many times over the years it has been the children of the parish that point out something amiss in the liturgy or something not positioned right in the sanctuary. They even like to point out when the Pastor speaks an incorrect word! To me, that is a blessing because they are paying attention.
We are all part of the church together – what a blessing! May the Lord lead us to help one another to grow in our Christian faith.