In yesterday’s devotion, Curtice introduced me to a French term, “Le Reposoir” – the resting place. She wrote of it in connection to an experience she had at the gym. For me, my resting place was where I attended worship yesterday morning. I went with my parents to the Lutheran church where they are members. While I grew up in the Lutheran church, it had been a while since I had been to worship in a Lutheran church since college. Yesterday, though, was a wonderful morning and much of what I experienced deeply connected with me. It was a gift to return to the altar rail to receive the Lord’s Supper. To have that beautiful experience of kneeling before the cross and kneeling with community to receive the gift of Christ. It was a blessing to experience the liturgy once again, to simply be able to speak the words of confession, forgiveness, celebration, gratitude, and calling with the community gathered. It was a gift.
But there was another part of the service that really spoke to me. Off to the left of where I sat, a family had come in with young children. One of them was probably about 6 months old or so and was, as a baby is at that age, not aware that there were times to be quiet and times to make noise. This little one wasn’t upset or crying, but just making some of the noises that a baby makes. As I heard this little one off to my left and off to the right in front of me, I heard the sermon that the pastor shared, I remembered a church I attended in St Paul several years ago called Solomon’s Porch. They had a note in their bulletin that spoke to those bringing children to worship. I don’t remember the exact wording, but essentially it said, “whether your child is silent, making happy noises, or crying, it reminds us all that God meets us in those places in our lives. So, no matter what sounds your child is making, you are welcome to be in worship.” There was a later note sharing that if the parent felt uncomfortable that there was nursery care, but they should not feel they HAD to go because of the sounds their child made.
So, as that little one was making fun baby noises, I prayed for that family that in the midst they were able to experience the resting place that I was experiencing in worship and I prayed for others in the congregation who were hearing the same (a beautiful lively baby in one ear and the sermon in the other). I am grateful that God meets us wherever we are and however we are.
Curtice ended her prayer with the following:
…And I think how lucky
we must be
to have someone who
loves us so much,
who is so full
for showing up
where we didn’t
know you could.