Monday, March 23, 2009

Melody and Harmony in Worship

Last week I introduced you to Shane and the Tylosaurus he brought with him to worship. This week I introduce you to Lisa, another of the younger worshipers at North Church Queens, and the two friends she brought with her to worship this past Sunday. Her friends are named Melody and Harmony. They are pictured to the right.

That is Lisa in the middle of the photograph. Melody is on the left and Harmony is on the right . . . I think. Then again, that might be Harmony on the left and Melody on the right. It is hard to tell, you see, because Melody and Harmony are twins. Lisa can tell the two apart but I can’t.

I have always valued and appreciated children in worship and the imaginary, plastic and sometimes flesh and blood friends they bring with them. I especially value the questions they sometimes bring with them, questions like “Is hot chocolate from hell because it is hot?” How would you answer that one?

Children in worship can help remind those of us who are older what it is like to approach mystery with childlike wonder and trust, and to not always take ourselves, or mystery, too seriously.

To paraphrase the Shorter Catechism (based on the Westminster Confession), “Humanity’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy God forever.” I think we focus too much on the first admonition and forget or ignore the second to our detriment. Christian worship often rightly focuses on glorifying God but fails to have fun with God, to playfully enjoy God, as a child might play with, have fun with and enjoy a friend in the sandbox, on the playground, or even playing with dolls and dinosaurs.

Melody and Harmony, welcome to worship. I hope you come back soon.

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