Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day 13: Church

The whole family went to church today. Will wore jeans, Jack wore khakis and his sweat jacket, which has a rip in the arm (he doesn't know how it happened), both of them brought books. I'm embarrassed to tell you that this is the first time in months we've all gone to church together. Lately it's just been me, yelling, "See ya later, ya big bunch of heathens!" on my way out the door.

How did that happen? Summer, I think. The season of slack, lackluster church-going that usually finishes up when school starts, only this year it didn't. Plus, we have an adolescent now, and dragging him out of bed on Sunday morning is such a production that sometimes we just give up (and anyway, he goes to youth group, we tell ourselves, which is gathering of believers who talk and pray together, so that's pretty close to church; may in fact be church).

Will has never been enthusiastic about church (Jack actually was until the Sleep Monster took over his body--okay, "enthusiastic" maybe be painting it on a little thick, but he went without complaining most Sundays). It is a long time for an active kid to sit and look at the back of grown-ups' heads; I get that. Oftentimes on Sundays Will has just a touch of a headache and doesn't think he should go; he doesn't want to spoil it for the rest of us by writhing in the pain through the service. The Man, being a former small boy who wasn't always excited about church himself back in the day, always generously and selflessly offers on these occasions to stay home and keep an eye on Will, just in case the headache turns out to be a developing case of encephalitis or leprosy or some such.

So we got slack, but I've been feeling badly about it, so last week the Man and I decided that this week we were jumping back in, and we did, and I have to say I was very proud of my small brood. Although Will brought a novel with him and a drawing pad, he actually spent most of the service reading his illustrated Bible. And Jack said all the prayers and sang all the songs and actually listened to the sermon (he usually does). The rest of the time he read, of course, but I didn't much care. He participated about seventy percent of the time, and that's not too bad for a sleepy, jaded twelve-year-old.

The Man, of course, looked awfully handsome, and it's always nice to share a pew with a handsome man.

This of course is a wonderful time to get back into the church habit. Advent is around the corner, after all. And I think it's really important for all of us to go as a family, for the boys to see their dad taking all the singing and praying seriously (which he does), good for them to see all these people coming from all over to worship together. As they get older, there may be lapses in their church-going--I say this as someone who skipped church for twenty-some years--but like so many people who went to church as children, they'll be pulled back in.

And fortunately, nothing I've read suggests that Jesus minds it all that much when a twelve-year-old boy shows up to church in a jacket with a ripped sleeve. It's the showing up that matters, as far as I can tell.


Angela said...

Jesus didnt even notice his ripped jacket, he just LOVED having his company - and that of the headache boy in jeans, the handsome man,and the frazzled mum.
Hoping you manage more family outings like this on the sundays of advent!
[I need to also say that at Mags church this morning, they actually gave the children SAUSAGES!!!]

GretchenJoanna said...

Truly, in this era, it is a wondrous thing for a whole family to be in church together. And you had the grace to enjoy that moment.

Gumbo Lily said...

Family church-going is the best, isn't it? It's just the two of us now, but it seems we always meet one or more of our grown-up kids there.


magsmcc said...

I just marvel at the old age of your boys, since we're already moving in to the hmmmm about church stage. Obviously belonging to a sausage chirch helps. Would it confuse the matter if I told you they were cocktail sausages? And now for the first time in my life, filled with forty plus years of Christmas dinners and birthday parties which legally require cocktail sausages, I am imagining Sunday School children in bowties and cocktail dresses sipping Martini and brandishing cocktail sticks... Imagine Jesus would have a bit more to say about that.

Pom Pom said...

Good words, Frances. I like your boys.

Tracy said...

Our kids almost never complain about going to church. Mr Busy complains a lot over school holidays when there is not kids' program. I threaten him with death if he dares to misbehave out of boredom. They all participate until the sermon, at which time books and doodle-pads come out of nowhere. Miss Sunshine is the only one who sings. We're not sure how this happened because she sings all the time in the car. To the radio.

Our kids still sit with us and I love worshipping together.

Tracy said...

Sorry - Miss Sunshine is the only one who DOESN'T sing. Strange girl.

victoria said...

I admit I let our kids play their Ds's in church at the services where their isn't a kids program.

The dB family said...

My boy goes in jeans too and has been known to go in a ripped shirt. I don't think it much matters, but to his Mama who had near heart failure that he would wear his crummy looking shirt!