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.
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?