From Bethany Eyrich - who WAS a kid @ Glenn and now is the proud parent of two kids @ Glenn: Children’s Sabbath is...
Children’s Sabbath is scary. Scary because it can be intimidating to stand in front of hundreds of people to sing or read scripture. Scary because, even though we practice, we never quite know what the children will say or do in the moment. Scary because when you’ve worked on a sermon or a joke, you never know how it will go over until the delivery.
Children’s Sabbath is a lot of work. Years of teaching Bible stories, weeks of learning songs and practicing instruments, hours of planning and writing a sermon, a children’s sermon, a prayer. Careful preparations to figure out the flow of each element of the worship service and where and when bodies move.
Children’s Sabbath is lively. Parades (or the more proper “processions”) through the sanctuary with pompoms. Balloons decorating the sanctuary. Lots of movement of bodies large and small – often bouncing or skipping rather than just walking. Laughter accompanying jokes as the kids express their delight at being in charge.
Children’s Sabbath is refreshing. Beaming faces remind us of the joy it is to participate in worship by singing, collecting offering, reading scripture, serving communion, welcoming people, and even smiling and waving goodbye as people go out into the world filled with the messages calling them to love in word and action.
Children’s Sabbath is tradition. We teach our children our traditions. We teach them the stories and the creeds and the songs that are familiar to us and they join in, sensing the magic and peace that can come from traditions. Young and old, side by side they serve communion as it has been done for thousands of years, speaking the same words Jesus taught us. We also give them room to put their own spin on traditions to make their own.
Children’s Sabbath is a testament. Children share the message of love they have been taught through Sunday School, choir, and participating in worship with their families. Children read sacred words for us to hear. Children think deeply about the scripture and share their insights, giving us fresh ways to think about our actions and words.
Children’s Sabbath is important. It is important to remind ourselves that our children are watching what we do and say. It is important for them to know that their mistakes or imperfect words are received with love, not ridicule. It is important to give them a foundation on which to build their faith. It is important to give them a voice to express their own faith and questions. It is important to give them a chance to lead us and that we trust them to lead us.
Children’s Sabbath is filled with joy, laughter, song, reverence, and love.
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