Children’s sermons are one of my favorite moments during worship. God has blessed St. Luke’s with such a great group of inquiring and energetic kids. When I am up front surrounded by 20+ little ones, I feel absolutely joyful to share the Good News of Jesus’ love for them. (I know the parents and congregation are intently listening to the message too.)
Of course, the children’s message isn’t the only time kids get to participate in worship. Our little ones bring up the Sunday school offering. Some have played special music for the prelude or during offering time. Our young people receive a blessing and holy communion and pray at the altar during the Lord’s Supper. We invite all the kids forward to sit around the baptismal font when we celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Baptism. St. Luke’s also has the amazing tradition of having all the kids come up to the chancel to dance and sing during the sending song. What a blessing to see those children jumping and drumming in praise to the Lord!
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
I am reminded of a time when after a particularly joyful piece of music, one child in the back shouted out a genuine and enthusiastic “Yay!” The congregation responded with a good laugh and that child reminded us that truly we can all shout “Yay!” when we praise God for his goodness. Kids help us cut through some of our adult inhibitions when it comes to expressing our praise and thanksgiving.
The bottom line is that kids are a blessing in worship and I love having them in our congregation. Emily, my wife, and I have a little daughter, Miriam, and we want to raise her to fully participate in the worship life of the congregation. I invite everyone with kids to bring them to worship and help them participate in all its aspects. After all Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” [Matthew 19:14]