Horton Hears the GospelPosted: March 3, 2008
We stumbled into a “children’s service” at a local church on Sunday morning. I’d like to say I researched and then lovingly chose a family friendly eucharist for the benefit of the boys. But it was dumb luck.
One of the things I’ve learned on sabbatical is that getting the boys out the door to church is a nightmare. I have new-found respect for Bryna’s heroism as a single parent on Sunday mornings. This week we fought with Ben and Zack about everything from getting dressed to putting on shoes to wearing jackets to buckling seat belts. In the background was the constant refrain, “I’m not going to church!” I know they didn’t sign up for my sabbatical practice of going to different churches but as much as they usually complain about going to church, they can’t wait for my sabbatical to end so they can return to “our” church.
Of course once we finally got there, they were great. I wasn’t exactly in a worshipful frame of mind after pleading, arguing, threatening, and yelling all morning; I could have used a stiff drink. But they were little angels, following along in the bulletin, singing the hymns, putting money into the collection plate (without trying to pocket it).
As annoyed as I get with families at the parish who are on the one or two Sunday a month plan, I have to give them credit for just getting out the door. It’s not easy. Even when you resort to bribes about going out to brunch afterwards.
The service itself was blessedly short — well under an hour. This was perfect for the average child’s attention span. Certainly for my children’s attention span. For the sermon, all the kids were called up front and a woman read “Horton Hears a Who” by Dr. Seuss. And, while it captured their imagination, I have no idea how it related to the gospel. Sure, “A person’s a person no matter how small” but what does that have to do with Jesus and the woman at the well? Uh, not much.