Saturday, June 02, 2012

The Sunday Wiggles

Having spent the last three Sundays worshipping in churches in Germany, I have a greater understanding and empathy for child wiggles during the service. I am a toddler myself when it comes to the German language. I know a few vocabulary words and like a toddler seem to use one word for everything, or stare blankly, or just get louder and louder when someone doesn't understand me. Okay so I really didn't get louder and louder, but boy I sure felt the same frustration!

Back to sitting in the pew. . . Knowing only a few words makes it hard to sit still and pay attention. As an adult, I can sit still better than a toddler, but paying attention was still a challenge. I would catch a few words, but as the majority simply went in one ear and out the other, restlessness seeped in. This was greatest during the sermon. Like a toddler I didn't get much out of the message the pastor preached.

But the liturgy brought me back out of mental wonderings, and like a toddler who has been nudged by their mother, I knew when to fold my hands for prayer and say, "Amen." I could sing the Alleluias. I could see others kneeling and do likewise. I could learn by watching and imitating.

Thanks be to God that His Word does it all. I don't (and neither does the toddler) have to understand to be forgiven. I am! And that Word spoken and preached will grow faith even as the toddler grows and understanding increases.

So you, dear mother who faces another Sunday with squirming little ones, take heart. I pray for you. I understand the challenge, both as a mother, and now as the toddler. Keep trudging along. Keep bringing the children week after week even though it seems like he isn't listening. Keep encouraging your child to listen, to fold hands for prayer, to watch the pastor, to sing the Alleluia, and to say "Amen."

And when the wiggles are driving you the most crazy, remember that all these words are more than they can comprehend right now. But also remember and take heart for "Faith comes from hearing, and hearing from the Word of Christ."


Rebekah said...


laughedandlaughed said...

Thank you for this wonderful perspective and post.

LutheranMama said...

Just rediscovered your blog. :) Thank you for the encouragement! My toddler exhausts me every week during the Divine Service, and she's generally being "good!" I do look forward to giving my full attention to the sermon someday, but with another one on the way now, I know that won't be for quite a while!

Glenda said...

Thank you laughedandlaughed and LutheranMama. I'm glad when anyone can understand my rambling brain.

Congratulations on the latest addition as well LutheranMama. Yes, one day your full attention can once more be on the sermon, but I remember when mine where all tiny, that I realized that the liturgy and hymns where giving me God's Word and I was so thankful for knowing it by heart. Oh, and I was also thankful for Sunday afternoon naps. :-)