Most church experiences are designed differently now. While the adults meet in the sanctuary, the children are divided into their respective classes. I am not going to criticize this model because we all know it is hard to concentrate in a room full of bored and wiggly children. I think that Sunday School classes are wonderful and designed to teach the Bible at each appropriate age level, but I also think there are some valuable lessons for kids to learn during big church.
It is good that I think this, because whether I have wanted it or not, I have had one or more of my children in big church with me for the past 5 and a half years since we first became parents. This is due to all sorts of things like separation anxiety, grumpy children, and my germ-a-phobic husband who does whatever he can to prevent any incoming viruses. Sunday School is unfortunately a big contributor to our household colds.
This past Sunday (now a few Sundays ago as I can't seem to get my posts up in a timely manner!), Sommer made it through a good two thirds of big church before we had to retreat into the Overflow Room set up with video feed of the service. I actually think that two thirds of the service is pretty good for a 2 year old. She might not have paid much attention to the sermon, but when the worship music began she was riveted. Her response confirms that no harm has been done by keeping her out of Sunday School for a few more months while we have a baby in the house we are trying to keep healthy. This little gal was worshiping the Lord with her whole body, dancing, arms waving, head nodding in rhythm, heart captured.
It is hard to fully appreciate from this video, as it only caught the end of her worship experience. I was too wrapped up watching her in the beginning to consider whipping out my camera. By this time she had been joined by a friend. And she was holding a lot of favorite items originally intended to keep her quiet during the church service. Still...
It was a blessing to my soul to see this small child respond to the call to worship. It might look like any old 2 year old to you, but I know it came from a heart that was caught up by the Spirit all around her.
I am not really sure at what age a child can technically accept Christ. I am absolutely positive that I would have argued differently in a debate about this prior to having kids. What I do know, is that to the best of her understanding and ability, this small child has embraced Jesus in her life. And He has put a song and a dance in her heart.
In the bedtime voice of Sommy: "Jesus loves me? Jesus loves you, Momma? Jesus loves Papa? Jesus loves Anka (Annike)? Jesus loves Baby Karton (Karsten)?..." this list goes on...
Yes, Little One. He loves us all.