Yesterday I was privileged to take part in one of the sacraments in my faith tradition–the blessing of children. This is modeled on the experience reported in the Gospels when Jesus took little children in his arms and blessed them.
Then little children were being brought to him in order that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples spoke sternly to those who brought them; but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.” And he laid his hands on them and went on his way. (Matthew 19:13-15)
It is a sacrament that is available to anyone who desires it–whether they are members of my denomination or not. It does not imply membership–it is simply bringing the child before God to ask for God’s blessing for the child (and also for the family).
There were two children blessed yesterday. One of them was Nolan, a little boy who is about 6 weeks old. We have had connections with her mother since she was about 14, and were also involved with her wedding–Charlie as the officiating minister and me as the minister of music. We have also had the opportunity of blessing their first child–Nolan’s big sister Emi. In this service, I was the minister who offered the prayer of blessing for him. What an incredible responsibility! But also, what a wonderful experience.
The other child blessed was our granddaughter–who is now 11 months old. She was (obviously) a little more active than Nolan and was a little squirmy and wiggly as she was being held by two of her grandfathers.
Services when this sacrament is held are always a joyful experience. There is such hope represented in these new lives–such faith in the future.
This is true, even when there are issues and challenges during the service. Our air conditioning was out yesterday–on a day when the temperature and humidity were both pretty high. We had some technical issues with the microphones. But in spite of all of that, it was a wonderful service.
Children bring joy…they bring trust…they bring hope for our future.
Let the children come…