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Oh Baby! You Light Up My Life

Last year I was visiting churches accompanying a friend who wished to find just the right spot for her family to attend.  This was good news for me because I wanted to hear several of the new ministers in town and some of the truly amazing music being performed.

In this process I heard one of the most wonderful and concise sermons I have ever heard and I thought I would share the idea with you here.

It was the early morning family service and not the formal service and the chapel was filled with musicians and excited children and lots of babies who were part of the service of the Celebration of Baptism.   We watched and listened as the teenagers lit the candles of the Advent Wreath and read the Scripture and Gospel lessons for the day.

We had sung at least 2 carols/ hymns by this point in the service.

The young female Pastor then asked the children to come up and the teens to stay and she quizzed them on the best way advertisers and promoters work at getting their messages out and about.  The children had wonderful ideas about songs and jingles and catchy phrases that they could remember and the teens really zeroed in on the celebrity endorsements, the glitz and glamour of a product.

Several of the babies in the room had become fussy and were creating a bit of distraction, and several Grandparents there for the baptisms began walking the babies and bouncing them up and down.  The congregation took note and I am sure a couple of folks wished that the noisiest baby would settle down and enjoy the bottle being offered.

The Pastor then said, “If you were God and you wanted to get the message out about Love and Life and teach people the greatest lessons of all, how would you get their attention?”

The Children thought songs, jingles, movies, schools and celebrity endorsements were all a great idea, and then the Pastor said to the children, “Do you notice that every person in this room is aware of all the babies in this room right now?  They are just demanding everyone’s attention and there is not a person not checking those babies out and wondering what they need and how cute they are; and how proud their parents are – everyone is focused on our babies.  What do you think of God’s choice to send a newborn baby, delivered in a stable, to get people’s attention and share the message?”

The sermon was over – the lesson learned and there was nearly total silence in the room except for the babies, who commanded our total attention. Life and love had come together.

The Hindu religion says that children are our greatest teachers.  Let us come to the lessons as a little child – be open and understanding – excited about learning and being acknowledged.

A year later, I am still remembering this lesson, the babies and this sermon.

baby eye

How do you get a message out?  Do you come to the lesson in a childlike way? Who is your best teacher?  Who or what captures your complete focus?

8 Responses to “Oh Baby! You Light Up My Life”

  1. Betsy Wuebker Says:

    What a lovely allegory! No wonder you remember the message so clearly a year later! Stunning simplicity. Thanks for sharing it.

    Betsy Wuebkers last blog post..EVERY VALLEY SHALL BE EXALTED . . .

  2. Dot Says:

    Interesting concept! I hope Madison Avenue doesn’t start leaving babies on our doorsteps, though. 😉

    By the way, apropos of your comments to Jannie, did you know that Men with Pens, who are website designers, will do a free evaluation of your site’s design? They call them Drive-By Sundays. You just have to request one in an email to them. Writer Dad recently had his, and they wrote about it here: http://menwithpens.ca/drive-by-shooting-sundays-writer-dad. I’ve requested one (missed the deadline for 2008 requests).

    Dots last blog post..How to Get Published, Part 2

  3. Kim Woodbridge Says:

    What a simple yet powerful message.

    It reminds me of something that my mother taught me – if someone is annoying me (or worse) try to remember that the person was a innocent helpless baby at one time. Somehow this works for me.

    Kim Woodbridges last blog post..5 WordPress Citrus Themes

  4. Patricia Says:

    Thank you for your comments and I am sorry I am a bit late to the party here, we have had so much snow, which is a rarity here, that my Internet connection keeps coming and going all the time.

    Betsy – I just loved the simplicity of the message and I am sure that is why I keep remembering it often and with good feeling.

    Dot – I rather think Madison Ave. does use babies a lot in their advertising – maybe too much…and our political ads at the end of our local campaigns were filled with babies and dirty diapers images.
    I had no idea about Men with Pens. Wow You truly are a wealth of information. Thank you so much

    Kim –
    I have been enjoying reading your site – thank you for your comments. What a nice way to direct your attention your Mother had….and if it works for you then it is a great way to think about folks that are being unsavory.

  5. Davina Says:

    Patricia, this was lovely. Truly inspiring. “Who or what captures your complete focus? — right now… my inner critic. But this is a good thing. I’m just starting to practice not getting off track by this.

    Davinas last blog post..A Positively Dysfunctional Christmas

  6. Jannie Says:

    Smart pastor!

    Okay your questions…

    How do I get my message out? What is my message, to not get caught with a wedgie on your wedding day. (e-mail sent.)

    Yes, I think I’m pretty childlike. There is sooo much beauty and wonder in the world. I know I’ll only appear weirder as I age too, but I’m not concerned. I’ll wear my red hat and my purple shirt. Maybe with yellow rubber boots and gardening gloves of bright blue. And golden wings with little red dingle balls hanging from them.

    My best teacher? The trees and the rain. Dandelion fluff. My cat. My daughter.

    Getting a good new song going, that catches my focus, once I have the concept and a good first verse / chorus I keep juggling that sucker until it gets done. I’ve got 5 great melodies on the go right now but the lyrics haven’t come yet and that really bugs me. But I can’t force it, I have to come at it sideways.

    Blogging catches my complete focus too. Speaking of which, gotta go! Have my shower before I pick up Kelly form her art camp.


    Jannies last blog post..Suggestions?

  7. Patricia Says:

    Davina – how wonderful to use your inner critic to your advantage, that sometimes nasty little voice might just get to be a supportive voice if we nurture it into something wonder full…thanks for your kind words.

  8. Patricia Says:

    Looking forward to you CD and that wedding wedgie song just made everyone here laugh out loud right down to our shorts!

    5 melodies – don’t rush the lyrics at all – sideways is the very best route….they will come together in no time at all.

    She is a smart pastor and now with a new and terribly cute and adorable son….

    thanks for you provocative comments as always…