Those folks who want church to be orderly—totally orderly all the time—and who attend our church this morning will be disappointed. We will have guests. The children from The Peapod (the pre-school that meets in our building) will be singing, and the fact that they are singing will result in parents, grandparents, siblings, and others being in church who are not usually present.
If that is not enough to create a little disorder, we are also having a Parent/Child Dedication Service for three young sons and their parents. This will bring additional guests.
Wow! What a wonderfully disordered day we are likely to have! I can hardly wait. Eminence Baptist Church has become a place that welcomes children and the occasional disorder that accompanies them. I’m not sure how we arrived at this point. It wasn’t always so. I can remember seeing “ordered” adults staring down their noses at children and their young parents who were “not behaving properly for church.”
With all the extra folks and the additional things we will do as part of worship, there will be some distractions. Some folks, maybe most of us, will miss some part of the service. I suspect some will miss an important part of my sermon. Chances are I will forget to say one of my best lines.
Without all the extra children and extra activity this morning, we would have a more ordered experience of worship. Those participating would be less likely to miss something. Yes, without the children and their families, church would be more of an ordered adult event . . . .
But then it wouldn’t be church. At least it would not be the church called into existence by the one who declared to disciples who desired order, “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).
I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be this morning than at EBC with a church building filled with the sound of children’s voices lifting their own life-prayers up to the Lord of Lords. Maybe that was what prompted songwriter Roger Whitaker to write:
Every time I hear a newborn baby cry,Or touch a leaf or see the sky
Then I know why, I believe.
May we never be far away from the sound of a newborn’s cry.