Children in the pews
Adults sometimes wonder why people bring little children to church.
Actually, bringing children into the sanctuary is something like letting them eat at the dinner table. Even though their manners are far from elegant, it is done in the hope that they will feel part of a family and, given time, they will begin to learn appropriate manners.
Children giggle, wiggle and swing their legs simply because they are children. But they also sing, pray and worship with us. We as adults should accept—even welcome, value and smile at the children’s restlessness during worship, trusting that they are also learning:
- That it is important to come to this place each Sunday and/or each Wednesday
- That they belong to this special company of people
- That this is a safe place to be and that they are valued and loved
- That the sights and sounds of the sanctuary are good, though not always understandable
- That something is expected of them in this place and that they may respond in song, prayer and offering
Bringing a child to church can be challenging. But, then again, so are many other facets of parenting and the rewards are well worth the effort.
We must remember that children belong to the church too and that many of us learned to love church by being there as children. Children belong to God and, while they may not participate in worship in the same ways adults do, they are growing in understanding and learning to take their places in the church family.
If you would like more information about Christian Worship with a Lutheran emphasis, please follow this link http://www.elca.org/Growing-in-Faith/Worship.aspx
"But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, 'Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.'" - Mark 10:14; Matthew