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  • Wayne Chasney

Welcome the Children

Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. (Matthew 18:5)


              As I walked into the sanctuary Monday morning, the sun was shining through the south windows and shining directly into the front of the church. It was so bright it caused the altar with its white cloths to glow and made the picture on the front wall shine. I had to stop at the top of the steps and appreciate the moment. And, of course, take a picture which does not do it justice.

              It reminded me of the little church my dad served through my teenage years in Chasm Falls, New York. On the front wall of that church was a picture of a man standing in a field, tending sheep. The field in the picture is about a quarter mile from the church and the man tending the sheep is Joe, a long-time member of the church. I can remember many a Sunday sitting in “my pew,” counting those sheep (there were 23) as I listened intently (yeah, right) to my father preach.

              That little church, where 23 people on a Sunday was a “big crowd,” felt much like a flock. Everyone was close and, echoing the Bible story about a lost sheep, if anyone was missing on a Sunday morning, everyone was concerned. That picture helped shape the congregation.

              Each Sunday, we sit in front of a picture of a little girl handing Jesus a fistful of flowers. How has that picture which we see each week while intently listening (yeah, right) to the sermon shape our congregation?

              I walk into our sanctuary several times every week, and I admit I don’t always take notice of that picture. But when I do, it reminds me of how Jesus welcomed everyone into his presence and, as the body of Christ, our church is called to do the same.

              When was the last time you really noticed that picture? And how has it shaped you and our church over the years?

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