The structure of the services during the Now, What? series, my first series of sermons at St. James, has reflected the actions encouraged by The Service for the Lord’s Day. Finding a verb that corresponds with each part of the service is open to interpretation, and the verb that I chose for our Conversations with Children is play.
This decision, like most of the worship-related ones that I make, is intentionally theological. In addition to reflecting the fact that we have literally played games during this part of the service, play-language reminds us that we are called to enjoy the faith that God gives to us, lest worship become a dirge.
Children who play together are more likely to become friends. By playing together, children build trust and strengthen their bonds to each other and to God. Likewise, I believe that congregations who play together grow in their faith and life with God and with each other.
St. James is a wonderfully playful congregation. Worship is highly expressive, especially by Presbyterian standards. Outside of worship, we play everything from music to baseball. Since last Sunday’s service, church groups have attended Music on the Mountain at Kings Gap State Park and a Harrisburg Senators’ baseball game.
I pray that we will continue to play together and that, as we do so, we will increasingly trust one another and that this trust will give rise to ministry and mission that, at this point in our common journey, we can only begin to imagine.