Yesterday was "Family Camp Sunday" where we wear our jeans and camp shirts and come to church "camp style". We worshiped in the fellowship hall instead of the sanctuary and sang camp songs and had more foibles than a normal Sunday, and it was all part of the experience.
Part of the joy of being a family is the presence of all the generations, young and old and everything in between. At family camp we invite the youth to come up and do motions and help lead worship, and the same was true yesterday. Nevermind the fact that I am the most outgoing 'youth' up there, they were there, dancing and jumping and doing the motions. And the little ones came up and held my hands and jumped and danced and laughed and smiled through those songs.
And when we sat in between, they would sit really close and snuggle in as they sat with me.
Then, when I went up to preach, one came up and held tight for some extra TLC, and then another saw she was up there and she too came up. Now, I know for some this is distracting and difficult. It causes them to lose their focus or feel disrupted or disrespected, but I love it. I love that the kids feel so comfortable with me and the church body that they can just walk right up when they are ready to, when they want a hug or a cuddle. The only complicating factor was that the lapel mic wasn't working so I had to switch hands to hold the mic and hold the girls, but it was fun. I was happy to have them there. I want them to feel free to be themselves in worship. I relish in those moments.
Then their parents felt uncomfortable, embarrassed even, so the girls were called back to their seats and I kept on preaching. But it was good. They were good moments and I am grateful for them!