Monday, March 21, 2011

Children in Church

"Adult members sometimes complain that they cannot pay attention to the sermon, they cannot listen to the beautiful music, when fidgety children are beside them in the pews.  'Send them away.' many adults say.  Create 'Children's Church' so that these distracting children can be removed in order that we adults can pay attention.

"Interestingly, Jesus put a child in the center of his disciples, 'in the midst of them,' in order to help them pay attention.  The child, in Jesus' mind, was not an annoying distraction.  The child was a last-ditch effort by God to help the disciples pay attention to the odd nature of God's kingdom.  FEw acts of Jesus are more radical, countercultural than his blessing of children."

 - Hauerwas and Willimon, Resident Aliens

1 comment:

  1. Children BELONG in church, at least as much as adults do.

    To those who protest, "But they don't know how to behave in church!" I say: how else would you suggest they learn?!? And have you considered visiting a Sunday school class and teaching them about things like crossing themselves, what the candles mean, and what reverent silence is about? They will pick up far more than you think they can.

    To those who say, "They aren't capable of understanding what's happening in here," I say: and you can explain the miracle of the eucharist? how prayer works? I didn't think so.

    To those who say, "I can't hear over their noise," I say: then get out of the last row of pews and move to the front.

    To those who say, "Their parents never discipline them," I say: have you ever invited one of those disruptive children to come sit with you for a little while, to give their harried (and embarrassed) parents a break? You know, actually modeling that we're all brothers and sisters in Christ?

    Until you've tried these things, stop complaining and BE Christ to these little ones.