HE’S IN THE LINE TO SEE JESUS
It was the end of the service. Usually after the final hymn, the pastor pronounces the benediction and we leave. This time, “Please be seated,” came through the pastor’s microphone.
Up the aisle came a children’s choir. Everyone loves children, especially in church! They make thought provoking, if not knee-slapping funny comments during the children’s sermon. They do cute plays and sing in choirs such as the one in front of us now. And usually there are one or two children who are outstanding or “stand out.”
The group in front of us had both. I recognized the “stand out.” He was wearing the purple choir shirt now, but during the Children’s Sermon he had on a red sweater. He came up the aisle for that lesson with his hand already raised. When the youth pastor asked if he had a question, the boy made some kind of statement only those on the front two rows could hear. They laughed, the rest of the congregation smiled, and the lesson continued. Afterward, this boy ran down the aisle past his parents’ pew. Mom got up to get him, only to escort him out a few minutes later for what was imagined to be a potty break.
As the other children were singing, this boy didn’t seem to know the words. He was preoccupied, looking around, making faces, picking his nose at one point, giving someone on the other side of the choir a thumbs-up, and generally being a distraction. Most folks were chuckling, whispering, and/or pointing at him. I had mixed emotions about the whole situation.
We left the service after an announcement about the children’s program being that night. On the way home I asked my husband, “Did you think the thumbs-up boy was cute?”
“You have to admit he’s a cute kid,” was the response.
“I don’t mean is he cute to look at; do you think his behavior was cute?”
“I don’t think it wasn’t cute. What exactly is your point?”
“There were three little girls whose singing was carrying the whole choir. They did everything right; but I bet no one noticed because that boy was so distracting. The words to the song were really worshipful, too. Did you notice that?” I asked.
“Actually, I don’t think I could even tell you anything about the song,” my husband replied.
The “stand out” was the center of attention and the outstanding were not noticed. Is that sad? Is it wrong? Is it just the way things are?
What if there actually was a line to see Jesus
? Would this child be in it, or would he be in the line to see Santa? Would he even stay in a line? How do you corral behavior like that? Is it just a part of being a boy, or is he, perhaps, ADHD or one of those other attention disorder–type children?
My husband spoke up as all of these questions were going through my mind. “You know, if they harness that energy and direct it, there’ll be no stopping that kid. People will follow him wherever he goes, no matter what he does.”
He’s right! The line to see Jesus or the line to see Santa isn’t just determined by the person folks are waiting to see. People follow the leader; and this child is leader material. So how do we make sure he’s leading that line to see Jesus?
First of all, look where he is. He’s in church, in the children’s choir, the song’s about bowing down to worship the King. Acting like I want him to or not, he’s in the perfect place for a seven-year old to be directed toward Christ.
Second, where are his parents? Right there, on the left side in the third pew, his parents are sitting with this boy’s older siblings. They’re in the perfect place to set an example for this seven-year old about worshiping Christ.
Last, where am I? Complaining about his behavior, or praying for this seven-year old ‘s heart to receive the message
the newborn Christ brings? Am I more concerned about these girls getting the attention they deserve than I am for this future leader to understand the message of Christmas? I am in the perfect place to pray for this seven-year old to receive Christ.
Now that I think of it, the line to see Jesus is here! Thank God, we’re in it!
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