Preparing for Worship – Ashley Robinson, Pastoral Resident.
This week I had the privilege of co-leading worship at Vacation Bible School with my partner in mischief and co-resident, Jenna Sullivan. Each day the worship was full of joy, song, dance moves and the daily practice of examen where the young disciples learned to recall moments of wonder.
Many of the kids went home singing the song for the day. If they were like me, they continued to sing the song all day in the car, on walks, and in the store, because VBS songs are “sticky” enough to get stuck in your head. The refrain that has followed me around the most this week is actually a pretty great reminder for how we are called to welcome everyone into worship: “Come to the table, and celebrate with us. Let’s have a party, we are a family, we are all welcome, come celebrate with us.”
We played this sticky song each day as the children joined us for worship, the last rotation of the day. Midway through the week, something struck me. It astounds me how children enter the worship space, or all spaces, with their whole selves. Some enter with boundless joy, dancing down the aisles. Others walk in announcing their grumbling tummies. There are a few who take in the scene with quiet wonder, and others who announce each dazzling distraction. I love watching the angry stompers and the skippers, the timid travelers and the tiny ballerinas gather to worship the one who welcomes us all to the table.
This image of children gathering for worship makes me wonder, friends, what might it do for us if we brought more of our whole selves to worship. There is room, plenty of room here for whatever you bring with you today. Let’s have a party. We are a family. We are all welcome. Come celebrate with us.