Cruce Tectum

Cruce tectum, hidden under the cross, a blog for Epiphany Lutheran Church, Dorr, Michigan

Location: Moscow, Idaho

Friday, March 06, 2009

Church is for Children, Too!

Church is for Children, Too!

Pastor’s Window on March, 2009

Church is for Children, too! That means your children. Whatever their age, whatever their ability to comprehend, your children should be in church, participating in the liturgy to the best of their ability. That is why the cry-room should be viewed as an extension of our sanctuary. When parents need a place to take their children to calm them down, the cry-room offers a place where children can learn how to participate in the Divine Service. To facilitate this, we want the cry-room to look “churchly,” not like a play room.

Berthold von Schenk was pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church and School in the Bronx, NY. While a few of the things von Schenk wrote and taught may have been suspect, in 1954 he wrote a very insightful introduction to a booklet explaining the Divine Service to children called The Little Service Book (New York: The School Press, Our Savior Lutheran School, n.d.). What follows is an excerpt from that introduction:

“You should know it is very important for you to be present when believers in the Lord Jesus Christ come together on the Lord’s Day to relive the Life of Jesus. Jesus wanted children about Him when He was on earth nineteen hundred years ago. He said, ‘Let the little children come unto me, and hinder them not, for of such is the kingdom of God.’

“When we Christians come together on the Lord’s Day to relive the Life of our Lord, this is the Church in action. This coming together of the saints is also called the Body of Christ. Each member, young and old, is important, for we are all members of the Body of Christ. If we are not at the Church Service we cripple the Body of Christ.

“The Church Service, or the Liturgy, is like a beehive. The bees all have their work to do. They all work together to form one hive under the rule of the Queen. Each has his part to do, but he must do his job together with others. When we come together it is very much like that. Jesus, the Head of the Church Body, is present and bestows His gifts upon the members.

“When we come together to ‘do this,’ as Jesus told us, we do not only commemorate the great deeds which He did for us and for our salvation. It is not like a Fourth of July celebration, for we are really there. We are there at Bethlehem when we meet at Christmas. We hear the very words of the angel: ‘To-day is born to you a Saviour.’ We are there on Easter morning, when we hear the angel say to us: ‘To-day is Christ risen from the dead.’ We are there at all the other events of Christ’s Life. Always we show forth the death of Christ.

“When Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem many years ago on that Palm Sunday, the children joined in singing praises, saying: ‘Hosanna to the Son of David. Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.’ We sing this same song every Sunday. We also sing other songs, like the first Christmas hymn, ‘Glory to God in the Highest,’ and the Sanctus, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God of Sabaoth.’

“It is so wonderful to hear children and grownups, all praising the Lord in chant and hymns.

“When Jesus was a lad, His parents thought that He had been lost in the city of Jerusalem. Finally, they found Him in the Temple. He answered His Blessed Mother: ‘Must I not be about my Father’s business?’ Coming together on Sundays is God’s business. That means it is your business.”

Pastor von Schenk’s words are especially appropriate in the season of Lent. Church is for children, too! That means Sunday morning. That also means the Lenten midweek services. Because when we come to church, in the Word and the Sacrament, we actually stand before our Lord’s cross and are cleansed by His blood. You can do nothing more important for your children than making sure they don’t miss this! You don’t miss it either! Jesus is here for you.

Pastor Krenz


Anonymous Lisa von Schenk said...

Love this, wish I read it when I was small, however I shall read this to my son, who has begun to question me about church!

9:08 PM  
Blogger Pastor Krenz said...

Thanks Lisa... Are you related to Pr. von Schenk?

Thanks for reading.

9:37 PM  

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