published: Sunday, May 03, 2009
I'm glad I get to go
"Do I have to go?" whines the child.
How many mothers have heard that moaning voice from their children? Whether it's a trip to the store, the doctor, a visit to a relative or church, we know the question and we know the tone.
When applied to going to church, perhaps we need to examine why. Is church seen as an obligation to fulfill instead of a privilege to partake in?
Is my family's place of worship warm and welcoming - delighting in children as Jesus did? Or do they feel tolerated in a frigid atmosphere of stale and formal surroundings?
I'm not talking about a free-for-all environment. Church is the perfect place for children to practice sitting still for a while, being silent and respectful. Proper behavior develops as we teach them this and they comprehend that church is where we learn more about God and praise and worship him.
In church, our children should feel the love of God through his people, the music, the smiles and care given to them in Sunday school and children's church.
I love the Scripture verse found in Psalm 122: 1, NKJV, that says, "I was glad when they said to me, 'Let us go into the house of the Lord.'"
That is how we should enter God's house - in anticipation and joy.
On our last visit with our grandson, Jonathon, his first question to me as we entered the house was, "Can we go to church?"
"Of course, I said."
"Now?" he questioned.
We went through the days of the week till Sunday (and it was only Monday). Each day he asked how many more days. When Sunday finally came he leaped for joy that he would go to church.
Our second Sunday there we had the opportunity of taking him back in the evening to an Awana club meeting for children. A boxcar derby was being held and we knew he'd enjoy it.
However, he didn't know what this children's club was all about. All he kept saying was, "I get to go to church two times today. I can't believe it. I get to go to church two times!"
For him, there was no "got to" in his thinking. His attitude was that he gets to go.
And this is a church full of children - some who choose to sit with their parents instead of dismissing for children's church. It's an amazing delight.
Let's all come to embrace the awesome privilege we have to worship God together and be glad we 'get to' go to church.
Jan Merop of Sebring is a News-Sun correspondent.
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