I went to church with my grandmother yesterday. I must admit my attendance had far more to do with my addiction to the way bass pedal notes of an organ reverberate through a cavernous, beautiful church than my desire to hear the priest’s sermonizing.
Though it was during Fr. Ben Nelson’s sermon that my gears began turning.
He discussed, rather seriously, the way the Holy Spirit moves through us. And during this serious discussion young kids throughout the church giggled, squealed, dropped plastic toys on the stone floor, crawled under pews, and squirmed around in their parents’ laps. My first instinct was to wonder why these parents didn’t drop their kids off in the nursery or leave them at home or step outside until their children were quiet enough for everyone to easily focus on the words of the sermon.
But the more the children cooed, the more I realized that Fr. Ben actually wanted them right where they were. Every time a child made an exclamation he turned in that direction and smiled. His words kept flowing beautifully as children on either side of him rolled around or stood up on the pews. Not only was he not distracted, but it was almost as if he were speaking to, or even performing for the children in the pews. [Read more…]