Monday, April 6, 2009

Angels in the rafters...

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14

Church on Sunday mornings has become a completely different experience with a child. It involves arriving late, running to the nursery, looking high and low for a seat so that my wife and I can sit together (since we arrived late) and every so often a nursery pager that goes off resulting in one of us is running back to the nursery to console our distressed child.

Despite its hectic beginning, my Sunday worship experience has become fundamentally different. Katie decided early on that we should go get Elijah from the nursery for worship time so he can participate. And every Sunday he immediately does the same thing when he enters the sanctuary...he stares at the ceiling. More pragmatic people would say that he is probably looking at the cool hanging lights or the moving fans. Not me, I think he is looking at angels in the rafters. Jesus makes it very clear throughout the New Testament that children have a special place in his heart. They are not jaded from the reality of the world and their faith is robust and unshakable. I really believe that when Elijah is staring at the ceiling, his innocent eyes and simple heart sees what so many of us miss, he knows the truth of "when one or more are gathered" because he sees it with his own eyes the moment he enters for worship. This last Sunday was especially poignant. At the end of the service the pastor often gives the congregation time to reflect on the sermon with a song, prayer, or reflection. As we stood, holding our son, who had a large smile on his face (that was partially hidden by his pacifier) he lifted his voice...joyfully speaking his thoughts aloud for all to hear. And while we couldn't understand him, I know that his heavenly father could. And I am sure he was smiling.

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