Sunday, December 07, 2014

Suffer the Little Children

This past week, I discovered that I had become a cranky old person.  Oh, I always knew that I had a cranky side, but I didn't realize the depths of my sourness.  Let me explain.  You see, I have always hated it when the prelude music is playing at church (particularly when vocals are included) and people in the congregation are talking and visiting, rather than preparing their hearts for worship through quiet meditation.  I have, likewise, hated it when an individual or choir has finished a piece of music during the worship service and people clapped as if the performance was for them rather than worship offered up to God.  Mind you, I still feel that just prior to the worship service is not the time to be discussing yesterday's "great" game or what we think is going to happen on Downton Abbey tonight; nor do I feel that it appropriate to applaud worship music.  I have changed my attitude towards the people however.  
It all changed when I was watching a special on Christmas celebrations of Europe.  At one point during the program, I saw a congregation and then the Pope appeared.  My first thought was, "Boy, I bet those Catholics show respect and don't muck up the worship service."  Wrong!  People randomly began to stand and take photos and videos DURING THE WORSHIP service.  I didn't even allow photos during my wedding because it was a sacred event.  I thought, "Man, I bet the Pope won't stand for that!" Wrong!  The Pope was not flustered and not a single Cardinal or Bishop batted an eyelash.  What?!  What I did see, with new eyes, was the Pope seeing the neediness and the pain of the people.  He blessed them.  He suffered the spiritual children to come to him.  He did it without dumbing down the service or stooping to their level.  He loved them and blessed them.
And so, I need to be more patient and see more the pain and neediness of people.  Not just in church, but everywhere.
Matthew 19:14English Standard Version (ESV)
14 but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”

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