Today at church there were quite a few kids. Many of those who often show up were there at the same time. Plus, there were a number of others who were visiting to celebrate a baptism.
And there was life.
I think we all felt it.
There was an atmosphere of vibrancy at worship, as if the energy of the young people was contagious. Now you must know that there was a time or two when someone in the congregation might have though that one or two of the children was momentarily too loud ... but by and large, even when a child made some noise, the atmosphere carried life rather than annoyance.
And what I believe the community experienced during the liturgy, in addition to our own worship, was the worship of those young people.
By the simple fact of being in the midst of the whole rest of the congregation, they allowed the rest of us (who are normally relatively quiet during the liturgy) to catch a glimpse of their own experience of the divine.
Which got me to thinking ... who are we (who prefer it quiet) to say that (we're right and) the children are wrong to make noise when they worship?
Why is it that we act like we believe that the only way to worship is by sitting still and being quiet? What if they, with their squirmy selves, are worshipping more fully than we with our minds that get so distracted by grocery lists and family concerns and whether we'll get out of here in under an hour this week?
For the little beautiful one who was baptized today, I heard the noises of the other kids calling to her. I heard, "Come and join us here - we're in a place where we are welcomed as we are."
She was welcomed into community by young and old alike this morning. But what if she had been the only non-adult present this morning? What if the entire congregation had been adult? She would have certianly received a welcome.
But it wouldn't have been enough. She would have only been welcomed in an adult way, into an adult community, where the expectation would be that she should worship like an adult.
Thanks be to God there was diversity of ages joined together in worship this morning, so that the newly baptized could be welcomed, exactly as she is, by the whole people of God.
And thanks be to God for children who have not yet put away childish things ... for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.