Monday, July 21, 2008

There are Children Here!

My congregation has been pretty much children-free since the two families who had young children had to relocate for their jobs. We've had one young man, recently turned 5, as a regular congregant for the last year or so, but that's been about it.

Imagine my delight, then, when Sunday morning worship included 3 adults and 4 young boys who had just moved into the neighborhood! Imagine also my quickly scrambling brain figuring out where best to place a Children's Moment in the morning's service. Having decided that (after the anthem, before the sermon) I started thanking God for RevGalBlogPals Saturday 11th Hour Preaching Party, where a number of Children's Sermon ideas were posted for the very passage I was using.

When the time came I invited all the children big enough to walk to the front of the church under their own power to come join me on the steps. We talked about playing Hide and Seek, and how easy it is to hide successfully from the seeker - and how hard it is to find someone who doesn't want to be found. Then I asked "Where can you go to hide from God?" One of the boys said "You can't - God is everywhere, and always knows what we are doing." Another said "God always finds us so he can protect us."

Who needed a sermon after that? I preached anyway, but those two boys grasped the point perfectly. If only all Children's Moments could turn out so well.

I anticipate that the families will return. They did enjoy the service and the fellowship and one of my members went to them and offered to take the children and teach them in another room during worship, which really made the parents happy! I also anticipate that I will then become one of those preachers frantically seeking an idea for a Children's Sermon at the 11th Hour Preacher Party.


Sally said...

how wonderful to have those children come, and that they joined in so happily. I can't begin to count the times that the eleventh hour preacher party has rescued me.

2LT Amy Maxwell said...

Awesome. I used this same idea with a group of children years ago. We even played hide-n-seek with God... they'd hide here and there and then I'd ask them if God could see them and they'd giggle and say yes.

I used that story [the longer, cooler, funnier version] as my intro in a devotion I did for a class full of future military chaplains. It goes great with Psalm 139.

1-4 Grace said...

so lovely to have kids in worship. glad you had read on 11th hour!

Songbird said...

How awesome!

LutheranChik said...

When I started attending the church where I'm now a member it was, as they say, "a building year," and kids were still few and far between. I recall one Sunday, when the infants of a couple of newer younger families were engaging in a kind of competitive screaming/sobbing match during worship, LOL, when I heard one older member behind me whisper to her spouse, "It is SO nice to hear babies in church again!" Amen!

She Rev said...

Yea for you!

Yea for kids!!

Yea for the 11th Hour!!!

rev maria said...

Sad news about my family with children. Tuesday they called to say "We recently lost a premature baby who lived only 2 days. The funeral is Thursday and the person who was supposed to preside has cancelled. Will you?" I did, of course.

To make matters even worse, if that's possible, all the family except the mother ended up in the ER with food poisoning Wednesday.