Dear Cathedral Family,
Last Sunday morning, as the procession began, I walked quickly to the back of the church to take my place at the end of the line. As I was walking and turning off my microphone and putting on my mask, I remembered that I had not invited all the children present to join us at the back for their procession to children’s chapel. A gaggle of kids were already standing with their crucifer, but I could see others sitting with their parents or just arriving through the vestibule doors. I would need to remember to invite them when we reached the front. But then I realized I could invite quietly as I walked down the aisle.
So I extended my hand to little Mary Lindsley Golden, who was standing with her parents in their pew. With no hesitation and never looking back, she ran over to join me and put her tiny hand in mine, and we walked down the center aisle together and up the big chancel steps. She knew exactly where she was going! When I stopped to go to my seat, Mary Lindsley went right up to the altar to join her friends as they turned to go out into the Chapter House and on to the chapel. When the hymn ended, I invited any other children who remained, and several more rushed to join the others.
Seeing our children walk confidently down the big center aisle and up the steps always fills me with awe and wonder, joy and pride at their natural sense of being happily at home in God’s house. This is their place. They know they are God’s children and that they are loved and welcome, always. I wish we could all feel like that.
This Sunday in our reading from the Letter to the Hebrews, the writer says, “Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Our children will once again, as they will every Sunday now, gather at the back to be part of the procession. As you watch them approach the altar with boldness, I hope that you are inspired and emboldened to walk with the same confidence in God’s love that our children show. I hope that you can feel something of their joy in joining your friends in worship. As Jesus told us in our gospel reading last Sunday, we have to enter God’s kingdom as little children. Let’s watch them and learn.