Lighting up Church with Real Worship

Posted by Richard Harris | | Posted On Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 12:26 PM

If you are a pastors child there is one thing you can be assured of; you will spend too much time at church. Thus has been the case of all my children and fortunately they have all handled it well. At times when Kim or I are busy at church one of us will be left in charge of the children, the other night it was my turn. I am not as good at it as Kim is but I do try.

Basically my strategy was to allow Gracie our four year old to walk the church, I simply followed. At one moment she took me into a mostly dark sanctuary; while their I experienced worship like I had not in a good while.

At our church you start to attend worship at the age of four; this rule has not always made me the most popular guy and I understand why. At small churches you do what has to be done. Gracie has been battling it out with Kim for the last four months and has really been doing pretty well while keeping Kim and those around her busy.

There have been times when Kim has been a little frustrated about the progress she was making, feeling as though she was getting nothing out of church while wrestling with Gracie. Certainly there was the thought that Gracie wasn’t getting much out of it, that is until the other night.

Gracie took me to the dimly lit sanctuary and as is her habit began to boss me around. She had me sit down and she proceeded to go to the stage. From there she grabbed a microphone and commenced to singing at the top of her lungs. Gracie has special needs and cannot speak like most four year olds but this does not in any way stop her from communicating and was not stopping her at all from singing.

There she was blonde hair flowing, smile on her face, singing to the Lord, raising her hands and enjoying every second of it. I could understand her copying this from worship; she sees some of that every week though I am still trying to figure out the hand raising part being Baptist. J

After singing for a while she stopped, looked at me and then folded her hands into a prayer position. It was obvious she wanted to lead me in prayer. This caught me by surprise; it is not that we do not pray it is that we do not fold our hands as we pray. Perhaps that happens at home but not church. Somehow she knew the elements of worship and was leading me through it.

Though it may have appeared for the last four months she was getting nothing out of worship obviously God has been speaking to her heart. Let me give you some reasons why I think that is so:

1) Simple heart: There is nothing complicated about Gracie or any child for that matter. They come to God and worship with no sense of needing to pray big fancy prayers or sing songs with any kind of made up dramatics. She simply comes to God; we need to do the same.

2) Joyful heart: I have not seen anyone smile like that in years on the stage. She was almost laughing she was so happy. We should come to worship with such a heart.

3) Consistent Practice: Gracie attends church more than most; there is no getting out of the practice of worship it is a weekly event. It should be the same for all of us blessed with good health.

4) Can’t get enough: I would get up to try and bring things to a close and she would demand I sit back down. She never wanted it to end; the singing, the speaking, the praying it could have gone on for hours. Many of us put a time limit of an hour or hour and a half once week on our worship. We need not limit our worship of God to a schedule or program.

I often laugh at the term special needs when it comes to Gracie. What she did for me in a dimly lit church was shed light on my real need to worship with a simple, open and enthusiastic heart.

Scripture: Psalm 29:2 “Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.”

Prayer: Dear Lord, lead us to worship you with willing, joyful hearts that come thankful in your presence. We ask these things in the name of Christ, Amen.

all simple/truths are written by richard harris

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