As you know, children are most welcome here with us. We do not have staffed nurseries or children’s church because Jesus said, let the little children come to me, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven. Psalm 8 says that God has ordained their little voices and occasional squawks to silence our enemies.
So the first word I want to give this morning is to the parents who find themselves in the trenches, busy with caring for little ones. Do not grow weary in doing good. God sees your faithful labors, and He is pleased. He is pleased with your cheerful corrections, your patient redirection, and all the walks (or runs!) to the bathroom or the discipline room. And please know that we are all cheering you on. Keep up the good work, and if you feel like you need some advice, feel free to ask. A number of us have been right where you are at some point and we remember those days. You need to know that they don’t last forever, but feel free to ask for pointers or advice (or a helping hand). Remember that we are a covenant family, and we have taken vows to assist you in the nurture and admonition of your children, and we really do intend to keep those vows.
The second word is one piece of advice and that is to practice for church. Practice makes perfect, as they say, and so make a point to have times where you practice sitting still, listening quietly, using quiet voices, singing some of the songs, saying the creed, and so on. One of the blessings of having a liturgy with a fairly organized order, is that you can take the bulletin home with you and actually practice parts of the service.
And remember, the goal is not merely for the kids to be civilized; the plan is for them to worship the King with us. And this really is a great privilege. What an honor. So don’t be stressing about the people next to you are thinking. Be good neighbors and take the screaming kid out of the service until he calms down. But remember that we are here to worship. Make sure your kids know that that is what you are focused on, what you love about coming here. And then give it some practice and some teaching and discipline, and before you know it, they will begin to love what you love.