It was good to see so many people at church at Easter. After two years of half-empty pews, I was energized by so many faces in the sanctuary. It was particularly good seeing so many children again.
I’ve been thinking about why it is so different to worship in a full church. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not talking about being in a *large* church. I would much prefer a full, small church to a large, empty one. I suspect most people feel the same.
Thinking about this experience has brought me to a familiar passage of scripture,
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Encouragement. That’s a good word for how I feel when so many of us are together. Encouraged. Certainly, we are called by the Spirit to come to worship and receive the gifts of Word and Sacrament that He has prepared for us. But the Spirit also calls us to be in fellowship with one another. To encourage each other. To remind each other that we are all part of a Communion of Saints.
And, I think, that’s why it is so helpful to have the children among us in worship. They help us to envision the future of the Church. They help us to see, in a world drifting away from Christ, that He has not given up on us. He seeks to call generation after generation to His kingdom.