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And the baby in the 7th pew cheered, “Yay!”


The offering was taken, the gifts were given, the ushers moved forward with the brass plates as the congregation sang at the top of their lungs, “Praise to you O God of mercy, thanks be to you forever. Lifting high the weak and lowly, thanks be to you forever. . .” As the organist hit the last note from the choir loft a little voice shouted, “Yay!” and some faint clapping could be heard as our youngest member, Cara, just one year old did what she always does: she praised God and congratulated us for doing the same. A little giggle rippled through the nave, our delight in her young faith filling our hearts.

I call Cara (which in Greek means “joy” and boy does she live up to that name completely) “our singing baby” because as soon as we begin to sing a hymn she is vocalizing right along with us. If that doesn’t tell you something about who she is then I’m not sure you can read the signs very well. She is going to be a singer because she is already a singer! She is also a person of faith, even though she is so small she just recently graduated from her infant car seat! We can tell a lot about who babies are as people if we really pay attention. They show us exactly who they are very early in life and sometimes it is highly unexpected and totally different from either of their parents. But it is ALWAYS amazing and wonderful!

The Spirit gives a variety of gifts, St. Paul tells us. . . all for the common good. The first gift believers are given is the gift of faith. Little Cara is certainly a person of faith. She rejoices in the Lord along with her brothers and sisters in the faith. She sings out in her own baby language, but to be sure, she IS singing and praising. What will she be when she grows up? If we pay attention to the signs she is showing us already. . . one thing is that she will be a very strong and faithful Christian disciple. Beyond that, it doesn’t really matter because she will be serving the Lord with all of talents, all of being. Take a look at the kids around you . . . do they sing like Cara? Do they pray like Gavin who is only a third grader and an old soul who feels deeply and loves the Lord? Do they rattle off bible verses and stories like Ali who is just in the sixth grade and devours the stories of the good book? Are they like Josh, who even though he’s a sophomore in college, returns faithfully to the community whenever he’s home? It’s our job, church, to notice these things in our youngest disciples. It’s our job to celebrate their faith and nurture their spiritual lives. . . but we have to pay attention! We have to be looking and hearing and loving them or we will miss it.

“From of old you came and sought us, thanks be to you forever. Truth and justice you have taught us, thanks be to you forever!”  YAY!!!



*Marty Haugen is the composer of the song “Praise to you, O God of Mercy” and we use it as our offertory hymn each week.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Kevin Cochran permalink
    25January2013 14:32

    Thank you for the story. I have seen what you talk about here. The young ones show you who they are and many times in my experience, they know if you are paying attention or not. It is a joy during communion when I touch young Mason’s head and tell him how Jesus loves him. He looks at me and simply says “I know”. His parents once asked if his slightly older brother was ready to take communion because he had said he really felt left out, and was crying about it after church. I asked him what he thought communion was, and he told me it was about remembering what Jesus did for him. When I asked him what Jesus did for him, he replied, “He got rid of all my sins.” He took his first communion right then and there with his parents watching.

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