First real snow, and first time sledding. It’s beginning to look like Christmas on the Palouse!
The Moscow-Pullman Daily News ran this article, which quoted me:
Christ Church carolers fill Friendship Square for hour of singing, fellowship
By Taylor Nadauld, Daily News Staff Writer
Members of Christ Church gathered in an hour of song for the church’s annual Christmas caroling event Saturday afternoon at Friendship Square in Moscow.
Volunteer Curtis Spencer carried a stack of carol booklets in his arms, passing them out to people in the crowd as they sang “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” one of several Christmas-themed hymns in an hour-long lineup of caroling.
“There’s a few scripture readings, passages of the Christmas story from the Bible, and then we’ll end with fellowshiping, drinking cocoa and eating cookies,” Spencer said.
A member came to the front of the crowd in between songs, reading scripture to the audience from a megaphone near a frosted evergreen in the square.
Above the many voices, friends and New Saint Andrews College classmates James Goode and Caleb Harris could be heard belting harmonies during each hymn.
“We were trying,” Harris said with a laugh. “We’re like that in church, too,” to which Goode added, “If you’re going to sing, you might as well sing loud.”
For Harris and Goode, the annual caroling event is not just about singing, but about teachings of Jesus Christ, who Christians believe to be the son of God and whose birth is celebrated on Christmas.
“We are here to spread the news to the world that Jesus is king, that he has died on the cross for our sins, and we can’t keep that in — we’re happy about it,” Harris said.
At the front of the crowd, Daniel Foucachon photographed the carolers with his cellphone. A frequent attendee and unofficial photographer of the event, Foucachon said the church sings in the square about four times per year, but its Christmas caroling event is special, as it includes hymns many passersby will recognize.
“Christmas is a time where just about everyone is happy to talk about something that Christians are celebrating every week, all year round,” Foucachon said.
The carolers wrapped up with “Joy to the World! The Lord is Come,” before ending in prayer and warming up from the surrounding snow with some hot chocolate.
Taylor Nadauld can be reached at (208) 883-4630, by email to tnadauld at dnews.com and on Twitter @tnadauldarg.
A friend ran into this argument:
“Can you give biblical reasons for not having someone watch your ONE YEAR and 2-month-old child while you’re in church? Come on man. 14-months-old?? Can you tell me exactly what you think you are accomplishing by having a 14-month-old in church?”
He responded simply with Bible references.
Have you not read?
“Call a solemn assembly; gather the people. Consecrate the congregation; assemble the elders; gather the children, even nursing infants.” -Joel 2:15-16
“And Jesus said to them, ‘Yes; have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?” -Matthew 21:16
“Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” -Luke 18:15-17
“There was not a word of all that Moses commanded that Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel, and the women, and the little ones, and the sojourners who lived among them.” -Joshua 8:35
“Assemble the people, men, women, and little ones, and the sojourner within your towns, that they may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God, and be careful to do all the words of this law, and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God, as long as you live in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.” -Deuteronomy 31:12-13
“Meanwhile all Judah stood before the Lord, with their little ones, their wives, and their children.” -2 Chronicles 20:13
“While Ezra prayed and made confession, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, a very great assembly of men, women, and children, gathered to him out of Israel, for the people wept bitterly.” -Ezra 10:1
“When our days there were ended, we departed and went on our journey, and they all, with wives and children, accompanied us until we were outside the city. And kneeling down on the beach, we prayed and said farewell to one another.” -Acts 21:5-6
Ephesians 6 assumes that children would be present at the reading of the letter to the congregation.
Children were present at Jesus’ preaching (Matt 14:21).
Keep your kids in Church! The Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. The elements of a service are didactic even if they don’t have full comprehension. What they will quickly gain is the knowledge that “these are my people, this is where I belong, this is the Body of Christ where I worship God.” It may take years for them to put that into words, but they understand it as surely as they understand that they belong at your dinner table. Have you ever tried removing a one-year-old from a dinner table full of older siblings? They know to whom they belong. They have an incredible ability to discern the Body.