Last week at worship, we were gifted by the presence of young worshippers. Now, if you have been to HW worship--you understand that this is not exactly new. However, on this particular Sunday, half of our population (HALF) was six and under. Neighbors from Wild Wednesdays, friends of friends, regulars. It was lively and amazing. Oh, the adults and teens were nothing to sneeze at either, don't get me wrong. Yet, I can't help but think that in a Sunday where the Gospel centers on Jesus welcoming children that there are powers at work beyond our comprehension. Reverand Susan Tjornehoj delivered the Gospel and sermon. Two things she saidÂ that I can't stop thinking about are: 1. "That in order to pick up a child who needs attention, you often have to put something else down." Like groceries. Or a computer. Or sense of control. Or a neat/orderly/contemplative worship service. 2. That Rev. Tjornehoj's favorite verse in the Bible is Genesis 33:1 which is the story of Jacob and Esau. This part of their story involvesÂ major travel-- and the entire community traveled at the pace of the children.
Children out front--setting the pace. Sometimes slow and whiny, often frantically full speed ahead, meandering as an expectation, stutter starts and stops.
Humble Walk is notÂ doing youth ministry.Â Humble Walk is not a program. Humble Walk is aÂ worshipping community. And sometimes our community is largely birth through six-years-old. What if we just claimed that weÂ will move at the pace of the children and let that be our model?Â Most of us know other models--theÂ "pipe down and sit stillÂ in church" model. The "church is for adults so kids are invited to the nursery or to Sunday School during worship" model.Â What if we put the children in the front of the pack and let them set the pace--and then we as a church and all our expectations followed? Not children's church. The rest of us are here, too. But a community whose pace is set by the most vulnerable among us?