She could have been at home, watching cartoons or playing outside.
She could have been out shopping with her mama, or enjoying a pancake breakfast in the restaurant on this Sunday morning.
But instead, she’s here, this little girl with the blonde hair and the big pink bow. She’s here, breaking the bread, and smiling, holding it out at arm’s length well before we’ve even reached the altar, as if it’s really important, as if to say:
Come and get this! It’s just for you! Its special!
And it was.
In fact, my whole morning was special.
It was Children’s Sunday in this United Methodist Church, a special day set aside to celebrate the children in our midst.
Everything about this service said: We love children. Children are special to us.
From the bulletin cover,
to the Call to Worship…
From the prayers of blessing,
to the benediction…
everything involved children, and told them, over and over again:
You’re important here.
And so it’s not really surprising is it, that the little girl with the blonde hair and the big pink bow should be here at all? Because isn’t this the place where she knows she’s welcomed, and loved, and needed, and important?
I’m watching this little child.
I notice how she crouches down to one who is smaller than her.
I see how she fixes her eyes on one who is older than her.
And when it’s my turn, she gives me the biggest smile and tears off the biggest piece of bread, and she tells me, quite confidently and with no doubt in her voice:
Jesus loves you.
I don’t know how many people received communion from this little girl.. but she managed to make me feel like I was the only one who mattered that morning.
I don’t know how she did that.
But she did.
No wonder that the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
Eight easy ideas to include in Children’s Sabbath:
- Have a child design the bulletin.
- Use the Call to Worship included in this post.
- Have children read the scripture.
- Invite them to extend their hands during prayers of blessing.
- Have children lead the benediction, ‘Go in peace to love and serve the Lord’ in sign language.
- Let children serve communion.
- Decorate the altar with balloons and toys.
- Before the service begins, hand musical instruments out to every child and invite them to play along whenever music is heard.