Our Church is a young family church, so there are a lot of young couples with young children from 0-10 years old. I haven’t counted but there might be as many, or more-than, of these kids as there are adults! During the worship (singing time), it is a common sight to see kids running between the aisles, standing on chairs and even innocently looking over their parent’s shoulder – pulling goofy faces at the people behind.
It occurred to me, that there were very few people focused on singing wholeheartedly to God, as most were trying to discipline/entertain their kids. Even some non-parents, enjoyed picking up a kid they knew and tickling them. As the hard(& cold)-hearted, prideful and legalistic man I can so-easily be (Especially when I have forgotten that worship isn’t just about songs!), I found myself getting rather irritated by the whole scene.
These kids are out of control, they are distracting everyone from giving God the glory He deserves! How can I close my eyes and seriously worship God when x’s baby keeps sticking his tongue out at me!
Uh-Oh! I hear the familiar-small voice: “Let the children come to me”. Which urges me to bring the issue to God. “How can I worship You, when all these kids around me are distracting me?” Slowly some of the answers, that other people seem to have already grasped, came to me:
- Worship is more than songs it life (Rom 12.1-2) and therefore Church is not the only place I can/should be worshiping God.
- These very kids, noisy though they are, without making any conscious effort are screaming out the wonders of God. That He provides, that He creates, He cherishes.
- Being a parent gives someone the opportunity to experience even a fraction, of the love that God feels for His children (us) and the pain He felt at Calary! Just like being a child can (sometimes) help someone experience a fraction of the Fatherhood of God. What a better sight as an onlooker, to bring someone close in worship, I am privileged to see this play out!
Finally, at this moment in church, the kids brought me closer in my relationship with God. As they revealed issues of my heart. Lord protect me from being like pharisee and please soften my heart in this area towards the kids in our church. Show me why I am tempted to feel this way, and help me put to death this legalism which is so subtly still at work within me. Amen.