One of my earliest memories of church is watching my father process down the aisle of our church, the Bible held over his head. He would walk up to the chancel and place the Bible in its place. Later he would read in a big, serious voice the scripture for that Sunday. During Mass (I grew up half-Catholic, remember!) he would assist the priest with serving. The memory of my father participating in worship carries with it feelings of pride in my father and also yearning to be like him. As a child I watched him participate in worship and wanted to do the same.
Now it’s true, I was a special child (one telling her parents she wanted to be a priest at the age of six – I didn’t quite get the rules of Catholicism yet) but it is not only children who will one day grow up to be ministers who long to participate in worship. I have had requests from those as young as seven to help lead worship on Sunday mornings. What joy this yearning brings to my heart! And what joy does this upcoming Sunday bring to so many!
This Sunday is our second Children’s Sunday where our kids as young as pre-K lead us in worship. With the Middle Schoolers assisting in reading scripture and some of the prayers, there will be quite an age range represented. I love that this congregation is such a welcoming place that we not only encourage children to be in worship, we encourage and rejoice with them as they lead worship.
Participating in the life of the church is essential for all Christians and worship is a huge part of our life together. Our children do not have to look at their parents or adult friends leading worship and yearn for the day they can too. Here and now we welcome them as full brothers and sisters in Christ.