No sermon this week. Our ELW did their annual Praise Offering service, giving me Sunday off. They do this every year and consider it a “gift to the pastor.” A gift I gladly accept.
Since I didn’t have to sermonize this Sunday, I went to hear my wife preach. And, my wife, being among the best preachers I’ve ever heard, didn’t disappoint. She rocked and/or rolled our neighbouring United Church.
It felt weird being in the pew rather than the pulpit. But a good kind of weird. I rarely get to worship with my kids, and I can’t remember the last time we all worshipped as a family. Even on holidays one of us gets sucked into preaching somewhere. Clergy shortages make it tough on vacations.
But then, after the children’s message, the kids were shuffled off to Sunday School. I don’t want to dump on another church, but how can children learn to worship if they’re rounded up and sent off to another part of the building? How can we tell our kids that they are full members of the body of Christ, but adults are fuller members than they are? Either we believe that baptism is the entry way into the Christian faith or we don’t.
Again, I don’t want to slime another ministry, but this is something I feel passionate about. A squawky baby. A restless toddler. A giggly pre-teen. These are all signs of life. Signs that we are alive, human, and growing. Signs that God is still active among us. They may distract. They may annoy. But what family is perfect?