The Lutheran Witness

It Is Good, Lord, to Be Here

Comments (11)
  1. Avatar Nydia says:

    Thank you for writing this. I’m sitting here crying because I feel understood! Yesterday morning was especially tough for us. We were late and then my 2 year old vomitted all over himself my husband during the sermon. I was so anxious and embarrassed. My husband took my son to the bathroom to clean up but we left right after communion. As we left, the members sitting in the pews smiled and waved cheerfully. “Have a great week! See you next Sunday!”I felt so welcomed. Their love and acceptance gave me determination to keep going!

    1. Avatar Val Jackson says:

      This message brings back precious memories from 23 years ago when my life was these words and thoughts. I too felt as if the devil himself was among us while trying to get out precious cargo (our daughters) and us to church. It was so hard but so worth planting and nurturing His presence in our lives.
      I see God working in my now young adult daughter’s lives and know that every battle and earthy struggle made us refined and more determined to serve God and His people.
      Be encouraged in doing what is right before the Lord. He will bless you every step of the way when you give up the world and follow Him.

      Here is the verse that inspired me to teach my children and to seek God in all that I do. His Holy Spirit dwelling in us makes serving Him and His people possible.

      Deuteronomy 6:5-9New Living Translation (NLT)

      5 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. 6 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. 7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 8 Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

      Be blessed and be a blessing!

      Val

  2. Avatar Mary says:

    This brought tears to my eyes. It is good, Lord, to be at Divine Service. As a wife, Gramma of six grandchildren, Mom of a son and daughter, and mom-in-law to a son and daughter by marriage, I am so blessed to worship each Lord’s Day with my family and all of my brothers and sisters in Christ. Watching the grandchildren grow in the nurture and admonition of the Lord is one of life’s greatest blessings. We now have another addition to our church family as one of our grandson’s fiancé has received adult instruction, been Baptized, and joined our church family. God is ever faithful.

  3. Avatar David Sutton says:

    God’s blessings to you. As a pastor of a rural congregation there is little that brings joy to my heart than to see children in the church and in the pew. There they learn the behavior and the faith, and no where else. So often I tell parents, “If you don’t bring them today, they won’t be here when they are your age, and nor will your grandchildren be.” Remember, the Lord says, “Suffer on to me the little children.” -Peace

  4. With four with a span in age of six years, we had our moments. I used to say going to church was like battling through World War III (admittedly a slight hyperbole). What parents in that stage have not yet figured out is that the majority of the congregation has been there … lived through those years themselves. As I’ve discovered in the intervening 30 years, parenthood veterans are pretty tolerant; their reaction tends to be: “Thank heaven those days are over, and it’s not MY children making all that noise!” On especially “active” Sundays, we walk out of church with the comment, “Natives were surely restless this morning,” and chuckle.

    To the moms and dads living through it, rest assured that five or more years from now you will find the memories to be hilarious. (And you can pat yourselves on the back for having survived.)

  5. Avatar agabus7 says:

    It is a blessing to hear these words. We must not be offended by those in church who raise a little noise. We are all imperfect and in need of forgiveness.

  6. Avatar sharon cordani says:

    This is a wonderful, encouraging article to young parents! As a parent of three and now grandparent to five, I will admit that the years of taking little ones to church was often a struggle. It is wasn’t an option; we just did it and hoped that we weren’t distracting too many people in our time of worship. As a recently retired Lutheran school principal, I often noticed that “my parents” we’re frustrated and embarrassed by their noisy children and shared with me that they stayed home on occasion for that very reason. My comment to them was “We need and want to see you and your children here. A church where no children are seen and heard is a dying congregation.” Children in worship are a blessing! Hang in there…the day will come when they’re grown and gone. Then you will pray that your grandchildren are in worship on a regular basis!

  7. Avatar Peggy Kuzmar says:

    What a great article and good reminder. My three are raised now and two have their own babies. I remember how tough it was and admire my daughter and daughter in law when they lean over, whisper, help little ones fold hands, etc. My four year old grandson now holds the hymnal as if he can read.
    My mom laughed when she told us the story of me and my siblings. She had four in 4 1/2 years and left for church one Sunday without feeding us real well. When she and my Dad went to the altar for communion, we were groaning in the back pew that we were hungry too! She was mortified. But I am grateful she took us every Sunday and love seeing the little ones in church.
    Bless you parents!!

  8. Avatar Christina says:

    All so true! We are fortunate to be in a congregation where crying and fussing kids and babies (our 17-month old one of them!) are lovingly tolerated. Yesterday at our Wednesday morning quilting group, I got a big hug from one of the ladies as she said, “I’m so glad you keep coming! Even though you don’t get much done, we want you to keep coming.” I needed to hear that! And thank you for the reminder that we need forgiveness so badly.

  9. Avatar Kelly Rottmann says:

    Thank you for this touching, honest reflection. I’ve read this several times today. Anyone who has had the privilege of raising children in the Christian faith has likely had similar Sunday struggles; you are not alone!

    Things I did (and still try to do!) to prepare myself for Sun. worship when our children were small: read Old Testament, Epistle, and Gospel readings/introit devotionally, as time permitted throughout the week; if possible, receive the sermon ahead of time and read that devotionally as well; if that’s not possible, then perhaps receive a copy before Sun. service starts so you have half a chance of following along, or at the very least, so you can read it after service throughout the week.

    Things I did to help prepare/get children through worship (even when they were babies!): read one or more of the readings for that coming Sunday to them out of children’s Bible or Arch book; choose a part of the liturgy or verse from hymn for that coming Sun.to sing w/ them/to them throughout the week.

    I also sat/continue to sit up front. As wife of a pastor this may seem a bit less intimidating for me (I wanted children near their dad!), but I truly think it’s helpful for wee ones to be near the front so they can see what is going on!

    Thank you again. I have shared the link for this article with several mothers of young children in our church. I always look for ways to encourage families, and this fits the bill.

  10. Avatar Eunice Bremer says:

    About 38 years ago in November I vented in the car as we headed home, ” I sometimes don’t think it’s worth the bother to bring Peter to church! He spent the whole time going from your lap to mine all during church…what a pain!”

    And that’s when Peter’s little two-year old voice piped up with a question from the back seat, “Is the world all done?”

    We had just had a sermon on the end times. The two-year old got it, all the while he was shifting from lap to lap.

    From that time on I was always extra happy to see little kids in church. They are getting the message. It is our responsibility to get over our pre-conceived notions of how to get them to listen, and our pride in their quietness. Peter was our youngest and came a bit later in our lives so perhaps I was less charmed by his antics that Sunday morning in the choir loft.

    But he got it! And he still gets it! Praise the Lord!