It's Not Really About You

Shut up, you darn kids!

“At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ He called a child, whom he put among them, and said, ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”  (Matthew 18)

When was the last time you went to a worship service that was designed with children in mind?  Not imaginary children as idealized by crusty grown-ups, but ACTUAL children –

  • Children are loud
  • Children are messy
  • Children are fidgety
  • Children are unfocused
  • Children are naive
  • Children are unpolished
  • Children are immature
  • Children are irrational
  • Children have no concept of time
  • Children are simple
  • Children aren’t impressed by big words (most can’t even read yet!)
  • Children are not circumspect
  • Children don’t pick up on nuance
  • Children are timid
  • Children laugh at fart jokes
  • Children are playful
  • Children are irreverent
  • Children are full of questions

‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children…..”  I doubt that God is impressed with much of our sophisticated, prim and proper worship pomp.  Maybe there should be more fart jokes in worship – or at least maybe we should consider why becoming a ‘good Christian’ usually means becoming as un-childlike as possible.


Mel says:

Your post made me think about when the boys were younger (thank goodness for the balcony!) “Thing 2” would occasionally get away from us by going UNDER the pews… Years ago, a facilitator at a Church Council retreat had the following in a presentation. It really helped me relax a bit more when sitting with children. I hope they always feel this comfortable at church! “Some old men came to see Abba Poemen, and said to him: Tell us, when we see brothers dozing during the sacred office, should we pinch them so they will stay awake? The old man said to them: Actually, if I saw a brother sleeping, I would put his head on my knees and let him rest.”

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