Yesterday morning, in our Family Service, we experienced something extraordinary. Our Family Minister gave her weekly Children’s Moment, a brief lesson geared for younger kids that reflects the sermon theme. She does it well, and it blesses the children and not a few adults. It is well received and popular.
What was extraordinary was that maybe eight to ten young boys and girls had been recorded reading scripture. Our Family Minister told the story about Mary and Elizabeth’s sons’ miraculously coming into the world. As she spoke, she would pause, and one of the kids appeared on the screens to read verses from Matthew and Luke. Then she continued and would pause for another child to read, and so on until she was finished.
It was one of the sweetest moments I’ve ever experienced in a worship service. It was beautiful, enriching, and so very encouraging. I was proud of the kids. It made me emotional, and I was still moved when I stood to deliver my lesson.
- Our Children’s Minister is very creative.
- The children who participated were fantastic.
- Their parents were filled with joyous pride.
- It would have never happened in the church of my youth.
Of the many reasons I love Jesus, here is one of my favorites–that he looked for what was right instead of what was wrong.
In the heritage of my spiritual roots exists an idea that anything different was wrong. That anything unordinary was suspect. That anything encouraging, edifying, and uplifting but out of the ordinary was automatically rejected. Children would not have been allowed to participate in the worship service, and indeed not the girls.
“test everything, hold on to the good, and avoid every kind of wrong.”
He also wrote,
” Everything may be permissible, but not all things edify.”
His perspective was to look for the good, to find the riches of encouragement and comfort. And if something didn’t build people up, or encourage them, then don’t do it. It may not be wrong in itself, but if it lacks real spiritual value, why do it?
What a gloriously enriching idea. Look for something’s worth by its capacity to benefit others. Perhaps hundreds of times, I have heard from church leaders about an idea or suggestion, “Well, there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with it.” That was the litmus test, was there anything wrong with it.
Granted, if there is something wrong, then it needs to be recognized as such. But can we turn it upside down, turn it 180 degrees to first look for the good in something?
Paul also wrote,
“Everyone who speaks (within the context of worship) must speak for the strengthening, encouragement, and comforting of others.”
I want all things to point to HIM! I aim to remain rooted in the center of HIS heart. And our hearts should be aflame with the Spirit of God as we praise and glorify his son.
When children were shouting Hossana to Jesus, the strict and strenuous leaders found fault with it, couldn’t see the good, only saw that it was wrong, and chastised Jesus for what the children were doing.
Jesus didn’t stop them.