Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Recapturing the Wonder

After the opening worship song, Pastor Joe asked us to greet one another before sitting down. I turned behind me to see a weary looking father with three rag-a-muffin little girls. The girls were eagerly shaking hands with my two handsome sons, while the father extended his hand shyly to me. Our eyes never met, but we mumbled perfunctory "good morning"s to each other.

As we sat down a young couple carefully ascended the stairs to the stage to dedicate their baby.

"Ooooohh look at the baby" the whispering began behind me.

"They adopted the baby, Daddy? Is that what he said?"

"No, he said they adopted this baby and now they're going to have another baby," answered the authoritative voice of an older sister.

"Kamayah is her name? That's a pretty name."

"Yes, it's a nice name. I've never heard it before"

"When will they have the other baby?"

"Her tummy isn't even fat yet, it must not be coming soon"

The happy couple returned to their seats, and Pastor Joe began to explain that it was time for communion.

As the band began to play, the whispering behind me continued.

"Daddy, what's communion?"

"Can I take one? What is it? Can we keep the cups?"

"Why do we have to wait to drink it? Can I have your cup, too?"

On and on they kibitzed, to the point of total distraction for me. Not a frustrated distraction, but a wonder-filled distraction. I was having an awakening. I had not realized how completely routine the whole church experience had become for me: Sing a song. Check. Dedicate a baby. Check. Take communion. Check.

But as the excited narrative continued behind me, my eyes began to see the service in a whole new light. Each of these events is holy. Each one has eternal ramifications. And each is beautifully unique to the Christian church. Somehow, I had lost the wonder of it all.

Those girls, whispering in delight over each little piece of the service, HEIGHTENED my appreciation of the weekly worship experience. Not a single detail escaped their notice. Every song was enjoyed. Every spoken word was analyzed. Everything...down to the disposable plastic communion cups, had value in their eyes.

There is an old adage that says "familiarity breeds contempt." As believers we are commanded NOT to give up the habit of meeting together. How can I engage in the "habit" of worship without giving in to the comtempt that comes from familiarity? I don't want a flashier service, or louder music, or more eloquent sermons. But I do want to enter each week with fresh eyes, fresh ears, and heart that expects to be amazed. By God.

Thank you, Lord, for the gracious disturbance that you gave me in those little girls. Help me to become like them.

At that time Jesus said, "I praise you Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure." Matthew 11:25-26

1 comment:

  1. Great reminder friend. It is so important to not make our walk too rote. How fun to be able to be amazed by those children's perspective.