It was a magnificent celebration of Trinity Sunday at my church this morning. You can read a little more about the service here. The high point for me musically was the final stanza of "Voices Raised To You We Offer" with congregation, choir, organ, brass and timpani. The sanctuary was truly bursting with song! But the high point personally happened during the Hymn of the Day, "Holy, Holy, Holy." Evan, my youngest, is reading pretty well for a six-year-old, but hymn singing can pose a challenge: there are so very many words, after all, and some of them are beyond the average first grader's vocabulary. So my husband and I typically try to help him follow along by pointing at the text as we sing it. We don't press the issue or make a law out of it: if his mind wanders or the words are particularly abstract or complicated, he is allowed to listen for a while. Then when the concepts become more concrete and the images more vivid such that he can latch on to them more easily, we gently tap him on the shoulder and invite him to start singing with us again.
Today during the singing of "Holy, Holy, Holy"--a hymn that is pretty high up on the child-friendly meter--I felt Evan's hand on mine. I had apparently fallen down on the job and he was reminding me of my parental duty. He guided my hand to the hymnal and looked up expectantly, as if to say, "Well? Aren't you going to point at the words for me?" I obliged, and he commenced singing with gusto.
It was a moment that I will wrap up and store away in a hidden corner of my mommy heart, to be taken out and joyfully called to mind in future times. It was also a priceless reminder of the fact that, no less than they need us to point them to food, drink, clothing, and shelter, our children need us to point them to Word and Sacrament, to pure doctrine purely taught and preached, and to worship that is faithful to that doctrine.
May we as parents always do all that we can to enable our children's song, and when we fail, as we shall, may we rejoice in the certainty that God our Heavenly Father does not, as He eternally points us, through the work of the Holy Spirit, to His Precious and Holy Only Son.