27 Aug Thank you parents for bringing your little ones to church – Sep 15
I see you. Yes, you exhausted looking parents, running from the parking lot to the church. One hand pushing the pram, other is trying to hold the big kid who is trying to run away. Getting all bags on your shoulder, where I can guarantee inside are lots of food and toys for your kids’ magic show. You are now at church, service has already begun. I can see you are scanning the room trying to find empty seats which are easy for you to get in and out, in case your kids aren’t settled. You are now sitting down and I can sense your big relief that you actually make it to church. A minute later suddenly pram is not so comfortable anymore, your baby is crying. I watch you anxiously pull things out of your bag of tricks trying to entertain them. I see you feeling embarrassed as you think all eyes are watching you. In fact, not everyone is looking, but I know it feels that way.
I know you are wondering and ask the same questions that I used to ask. Is this worth it? Why do I bother? Even when I go to church, most of the time I have to miss some sermon anyway, either to change my kid’s nappy or feed them. And I know you often leave church more exhausted than fulfilled.
But let me tell you good news. You are doing something really, really important. I know it is hard to do what you are doing, but I want you to know it matters. It matters to me. It matters to God and to the church. In fact, it matters to your children as they are learning who, how and why they worship.
I remember how my heart would leap during services when I’d seen my 1 year old girl making some noise mimicking the song. She lifted up her hands following her dad leading the worship. My older one was just sitting there drawing and entertain herself whilst the sermon was delivered. And suddenly, she repeated one word that the preacher just said. And when it was Holy Communion time, they couldn’t wait to taste a bit of ‘blood’.
I see them learning about God. I see them learning to worship. I see seeds of faith being planted. I hear their cries or whines as joyful noise to God. And I want you all parents to see the same, to feel proud of taking your children to church, despite the challenges of getting them ready or the noise they make during service. They learn that coming to church is important to their parents and so it is for them too.
Therefore I plead with you parents, don’t give up on going to church with your little ones. “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ “ (Col 3:23-24).
And thank you again parents for bringing your little ones to church.
Grace, mother of two.