Sunday, October 6, 2013

Let the Little Children Lead

The Little Children and Jesus

"People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."
                                                                         ~ Luke 18:15 - 17

If you ever attended Sunday School or maybe even Vacation Bible School, you have probably heard this wonderful story from God's Holy Word, the Bible.  

I remember learning about it in Sunday School.  My cousins, friends, and I were sitting around the half-moon table in our little basement classroom at our small country church. We were little children at the time and I remember the warm feeling that story gave me. 

It told me that Jesus loved little children.  They weren't annoying...in the way...underfoot...or too loud when Jesus was around. He did not send them away to be seen and not heard. He did the opposite.  He called them to him. He moved past the adults to be with the children.  He saw their value.  He showed them love and concern.

Not only that...but he offered the little children the promise of the Kingdom of Heaven.  He knew little children.  He knew they could love and accept Him without the questions and doubts of the adults around them.  Jesus understood little children.

Today is Church Day...so our family worshiped at our church this morning. Our church has a TV monitor in the lobby that shows what is going on in the sanctuary.  A few minutes before the service begins, the monitor will show a countdown in the corner of the live feed from the sanctuary. We call it The Countdown.  It is always our goal to arrive at church before the The Countdown ends.

This morning I struggled with what I wanted to wear to church.  I may have changed my clothes one or four times. So...we were a bit late arriving at church. We missed The Countdown.  

As we walked through the lobby...we saw the congregation already singing the first song.  Pushing through the doors, I was surprised to find a few empty seats in the back row. Thankful we wouldn't have to walk down the aisle in front of everyone...we slipped into the back pew.

As the next song began, I noticed a smiley little face tipped up at me in the row in front of us. This little blonde cutie was so happy. He was watching me intently as I sang along as if I was singing just to him. So of course...I started singing to him and his little grin grew even bigger.  

He was working on a sticker book and every once in awhile he would go back to his book...but then just as quickly he was looking up at me again with the adorable little grin. I would smile and sing to him and he loved it.  Sometimes he would dodge behind his mother's leg for a bit...but then there he was eyeing me again.

We had a fabulous time praising God together this morning.  It was a blessed little experience.  At one point he turn around to watch the choir sing and he broke out into a little dance.  Yes...God was praised in church this morning.

Later during the sermon, his mom stood up, slung the diaper bag over her shoulder, and picked up my new little friend.  I looked up just in time to see his face break into a sweet little grin and he called out to me in a little sing song voice, "Bye! Bye!"

And with a wave he was gone.  And I was blessed by the experience.

At the end of the service, a very talented piano player performed a beautiful up-tempo solo. Soon we noticed a little guy in a pew a couple of rows in front of us dancing a bit in his seat....then we spotted a little girl as she began to bob her head to the beat...soon her sister joined in. 

As the song reached it's dramatic ending, the little guy flipped onto his back and all we could see was his hands and feet waving in the air. The adults around us broke out into a little giggle...well...all of the adults except his mortified mother.

There is no doubt the little children around us sure enjoyed church this morning. 

When I was a young mother, I spent our boy's childhood feeding them cheerios...keeping them busy with books...and shushing them during church. Now I'm a little older...and my boys are no longer the little children in church...and I have a different outlook about children in church. I would say it's a little less rigid and a little more Rosie of an outlook now.  

This morning we experienced the joy of little children in church. To some the children might have been loud...inappropriate...or maybe even annoying. To me they were happy...carefree...and full of joy.

And I was blessed by the experience.

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