This morning, the older children at our church (hello, First Presbyterian-Argenta peeps!) performed in a Christmas pageant.
The little ones — the toddler/pre-K set — also were tapped to participate. Toward the end of the play, these tots were supposed to gather at the manger with presents for baby Jesus.
So at this morning’s service, all of the littles who normally would be in the nursery occupied a couple of rows in the sanctuary. You could feel their excitement. Big-people church! We’re in here with the cool kids!
Once the service started, the wandering began, with our pre-K kiddos exiting pews, roaming the aisles and, in one case, taking the stage during a mom’s rendition of Dolly Parton’s “Hard Candy Christmas” — which btw, is one of my faves. I adore Dolly.
But the best moment was when a little girl — the same one who followed her guitar-playing, singing mom onstage — hopped right back up there when we were listening to a song about Mary and Joseph.
It was totally awesome for many reasons.
For one, I love the fact that the youngest members of our church feel comfortable enough to wander the sanctuary and take the stage. They’re not intimidated at all, and that’s because they know they’re in a place that radiates love and acceptance.
Also, I think Jesus probably appreciates such an enthusiastic response to his birthday. “Let the little children come to me,” he said. Well, this morning, they did.
But most moving to me — even while I was laughing over some of the antics — is the joy that emanates from our youngest members. We’re talking about delight in its purest form. And hey, that kind of happiness should be the predominant emotion this time of year. These little ones get it. And their enthusiasm is contagious.
I know there are some churches where this morning’s impromptu dancing and wandering and singing would be frowned upon.
I’m just so thankful that ours is one that revels in what the little people bring to our services.
Because this morning’s service was just amazing. And, I’m betting, it was most certainly Jesus-approved.