I love seeing my church family on Sunday mornings. The opportunity to worship God with my church family blesses me each week. Each Sunday, the early morning praise team gathers to briefly run over the service order, the songs, and to pray together. After we prepare for the service, there’s about 15 minutes of precious time when we can walk around the sanctuary to meet and greet guests and members before our service begins. On two particular Sundays, I had the pleasure of speaking to two little girls who happily witnessed the act of discipleship and connected me to His joy.
Ellie is our bass player’s two-year-old daughter. This particular Sunday morning, Ellie was wearing a beautiful red, white and blue dress. Sitting on the front pew, she was patiently waiting for her dad to complete his pre-service duties with the worship team. As we finished up, I sat next to Ellie and commented on her colorful dress. Her response to me was… “It twirls.” As I smiled at her, she pushed her legs forward to stand up and gently twirled and twirled in the front of the sanctuary. The evidence of her smile was pure joy as Ellie displayed the benefits of her beautiful dress.
Last week, as I was meeting and greeting friends, another little girl shared her story about her friend who was sitting next to her. Mattie brought a friend with her to church that morning. As I shook both girls’ hands she said, “My friend doesn’t know what to do, so I am going to show her.” Later during the service, our pastor asked the children to join her at the front of the sanctuary for the children’s message. Mattie walked down the middle aisle with her friend, hand in hand. They sat together, listened together and then walked back to their seats, again hand in hand.
What wonderful examples of discipleship these children shared. Each Sunday morning when I walk through the sanctuary to talk and connect with our congregation, the uniqueness of each interaction confirms the beauty of our relationships with each other as the body of Christ. When we take the time to notice each other, do we recognize each encounter as a moment to share joy or an opportunity for an unexpected surprise that may be waiting to be unveiled?
I wondered to myself, what does my discipleship look like? Am I walking hand in hand with my friends to show them Christ? Am I sharing His Joy? Mattie innocently witnessed to our entire congregation. She brought her friend to church and helped her experience God not from a distance, but hand in hand, for all to see.
Ellie on the other hand, simply shared pure delight with me. I can’t remember the last time I was so full of happiness, I twirled. Maybe as an adult, this behavior would be unusual at the front of the sanctuary, but God gives us so much joy, maybe, just maybe, we should remember to just stop and twirl.