One of the things I enjoy about the congregations I serve are the children. On the Sundays when there are a number of kids in worship it can become quite a zoo, but I don’t mind. One particular 3 year old likes to explore the sanctuary…during worship. His mom usually has a horrified look on her face when she chases him down; thinking I am going to get mad, but I never do. One little girl used to stand on the pew during the offering; holding a dollar bill and yell “Eric…I got your money!” One Sunday, when I was preaching from the floor with a music stand, the little boy that likes to explore the sanctuary decided he wanted a better view. He came down the center aisle and stood right in front of me; looking and listening (Try to stay focused during a sermon with that).
But this past Sunday a very cute moment took place for me. We were down stairs enjoying another magnificent Salem Lutheran Church potluck. I was sitting at a table with a friend of ours (a member at Salem) who has a six month old little girl. She was born about 5 weeks early and I can remember being very nervous holding her after she was born. She was so tiny. But now Chloe is getting bigger. Anyway…this past Sunday Chloe was in a very good mood; smiling at everyone (I hope she stays that cute). After I finished eating I got my opportunity to hold Chloe. In the process of holding her apparently my thumb got a little too close to her mouth. Just then she grabbed my thumb with her two tiny hands…and she sucked my thumb. Actually she was gumming it. I thought that was the cutest thing ever. I would pull my thumb away and she would grab it again and suck on it. Everyone around laughed. Maybe I had some left over hot dish on my thumb…I don’t know, but it was a moment I will cherish. If I am here long enough to have Chloe in Release Time or Confirmation I look forward to embarrassing her with that story.
I know some people are annoyed when children “disrupt” worship but if there are no “disruptions” in worship then there is no children. If there are no children…well…you do the math. I cherish “disruptions” and thumb sucking moments with children. It reminds me that we are to have the faith of children; freely expressing oneself without worrying about what people are thinking about you.
What if WE actually lived our faith like children…free and without worry? Hmmm…