I have a confession to make. This past Sunday I missed most of what happened in Church. In fact I apparently missed my Brother in-law Pastor say that we worship three Gods in one person.(All pastor’s have slips of the tongue) It was trinity Sunday and apparently he made this mistake during the opening announcements of the service. I tried to pay attention, I really did. However for this service I had one job in mind. I was going to keep my niece occupied so my Sister-in-law could enjoy the service of the baptism of her son. My self appointed job was sitting with my niece and trying to keep her quiet and distracted. She is what I would call a wild child and I love her for it. During the service I asked her in my quiet voice if I could suck her thumb that she was sucking. I don’t know why I did it except she was starting to get noisy and point to Mom, and I though maybe it would make her smile. It did and for the whole hymn she kept trying to stick her disgusting thumbs into my mouth. (By the way she has a tendency to stick her hands in her diaper quite often just for the visual) This was the beginning of probably the most amazing worship service I have been a part of in awhile.
You see next my niece went up with all the other little kids and saw the baptism. It was a very cool moment. When she returned, we spent the rest of the service quietly talking about it. Most of the message I spent pointing at the hymnal I was holding and showing her the baptism picture on it. I quietly sat and talked with her about how she was baptized when she was a little baby and that one day she would be with Jesus. I talked about how I would be with Jesus because I was baptized too. She smiled such a great smile and laughed her little laugh all very quietly. She would point to the baptismal font and then to herself and laugh. It was pure joy. We went to communion and I got to share with my niece about Jesus again. She smiled and we had the best time together. I held her and sang a hymn to her. At the last hymn she was tired and fell asleep in my arms. When the service was done the lady behind me said “What I did with that little girl was a miracle.” I am not sure it was a miracle but It was a great day as an uncle because I got to share Jesus with my 2 year old niece.
It was not a miracle. It was a good weekend. It was a good day. Two things I hope everyone takes from this story. First it is ok to give up a worship service to help a little one know Jesus and allow others to hear about him. It is ok to just pack it in and say you know what today is about my niece and everyone else in the room. I know parents who miss a lot in the service because they are devoting their lives to help their kids hear about Jesus.
Second and here is my challenge for congregations. Maybe next week when you see that mom or dad who are struggling with their small child to listen to the sermon you can sit next to them. Offer to hold one of the young ones during the service so they can hear about Jesus. Take time with the little ones who are squirmy. Share Jesus with them. It can be a blessing for all involved.
but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14