last night we celebrated the first presanctified liturgy of the lenten season. our little church was quite full (glory to God) and a majority of it’s occupants were young children.
presanctified liturgy (or really any evening service) requires a bit of faith to attend as a parent. it is right around the famous “witching hour” when children often inexplicably become fitful and misbehave. for wee babes it cuts it awfully close to bedtime- and if nap time that afternoon went badly, well, there is certainly apprehension in a parent’s mind.
last night was no exception to this. i don’t say this to try and point out the behavior of other parishioners’ children, but to paint a picture. several little ones were noisy, or continually moving, wanting up and down repeatedly (this would be my child). i am always trying my hardest to turn my snap judgement of others’ and their children into a prayer for them but i found it particularly difficult to do so last night (this is of course a fault of mine, not those around me).
as we finally reached the time to partake of the eucharist, i went up with my nephew and my little girl, and made it back to a pew to sit with them. the congregation was singing repeatedly this communion hymn:
“O taste and see, o taste and see, that the Lord is good, that the Lord is good.”
in my heart it was clear to me why this struggle of coming to the services is so completely worth it for us as parents of little ones. the Lord is good.
your child can have a million meltdowns, scream and cry in the middle of the floor, make silly noises in the middle of the service, yell out “no!” unexplicably or any other number of things, but God is still good. nothing that happens will ever change that. we are bringing our children, even when it is difficult, so that they might “taste and see” that God is good. if this is the only theme they take away from the service then our struggle has not been in vain.
keep on keepin’ on, mamas and papas- you are introducing your children to the goodness of God.