Tuesday, August 28, 2012
GratiTuesday - A Heart of Service
This past Sunday marked a first for my Big Helper. Until now she's attended church and Sunday School and VBS. She's read her Bible and listened to stories of people who lived thousands of years ago. She's returned carts for older people outside of stores and built Blessing Bags for the homeless.
But this past Sunday she served within the church - officially - for the very first time.
She was the acolyte.
Our pastor taught her what to do after church last week. She practiced and talked about it all week. We talked about where to stand and what to do - but we also talked about the meaning of the whole thing.
We attend a contemporary, early morning service and it's quite informal. My Big Helper was given the choice of wearing the traditional robe (which she declined) and also followed the pattern of keeping the ritual simple for this service. She merely lit and extinguished the lights, which is the very most important part of being an acolyte.
She was determined to carry that light to the right place at the right time. She wanted to make sure that Jesus was well represented, and I may be biased, but I think He was.
She didn't get all of the steps exactly right. She walked a bit fast and extinguished a bit early and then waited rather impatiently until she could process out with the light, wanting desperately to serve Jesus.
Her heart did.
Isn't that how we all are? We're impatient and quick and mistaken, trying hard to get it right but making mistakes here and there.
Jesus sees through our mistakes, however, and He knows our heart. He knows our desire to get it right and to please Him and He loves us anyway.
As I watched my growing-too-fast girl walk up the aisle, her feet moving quickly and her daddy cautioning her to slow down as she passed us, it made me remember my wedding day. When I wanted to hurry up the aisle and my daddy tried to slow me down.
It made me wonder what her wedding day will be like, and I wished for a way to slow time down just a bit. It's flying by too fast.
It doesn't seem possible that she could be big enough and aware enough to be serving within the church, even as the bearer of light, but she is.
I'm grateful that for today, she was hurrying up the aisle to Jesus. I'm happy that she wanted to be there at all. I'm glad that she carried in the light, even though she was nervous about being in front of the congregation. I'm thankful for her sweet and innocent heart and the Jesus who both created it and sees it.
I'm grateful for my Acolyte.
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