Children shouting in the temple

Posted: April 9, 2013 by efenster in Ideas, Stories

Children with palmsAs I was reading scripture this Easter season, I noticed something I hadn’t seen before.  According to the Gospel of Matthew, after Jesus’ initial entry into Jerusalem on Holy Week, he  immediately goes into the temple and overturns the tables of the money changers and dove sellers.  Now, I already knew that, but then Matthew goes on to say that the children were shouting in the temple area, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” and the chief priests and teachers of the law “were indignant.”

I was just talking with two pastors yesterday over this very issue–children dancing in church.  They are pastors at a church–Lamb’s Chapel UMC–where their children have, without any prompting from adults, become a part of the church’s worship each week.

During communion, the children come forward, standing to one side of the table.  After the people take communion they then bless the children giving them hugs and pats on the head.  During the church’s last hymn, the children rush to the front of the church and dance and sing with the pastors.  When one of the pastors gives the benediction, raising his (or her) hands, all the children raise their hands too.  The children bless the people in the pews.  When faced with the question on Palm Sunday, “What should we do with the palms?” the pastors said, “Just give them to the children and have them do what they do every week.”

Now a church could be like those religious temple-folk on Palm Sunday who were “indignant,” but this church loves children, including those in the local mobile home park, those that make noise, those that act like kids.  The children love to worship Christ and, without even knowing it,  set an example for all the other worshipers.  Palm Sunday every Sunday!

What about at your church?

— Ed Fenstermacher, Associate Director for Church Development

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