We got to church today (over a snowy terrain) just in time for Andrei to open the service by lighting the first Advent candle.
Poor Little David's peers are all girls, but hopefully they'll be great friends anyway!
From the back of the room I saw a seat up in front occupied by a friend of ours who just finished his year of compulsory army service (it was 2 years back when Andrei was serving). His mother entered the room a few minutes later, beaming with joy. What a blessing for him to be home.
Looking around, it took me a few minutes to realize that about 50% of those in attendance were children, and also that I didn't know many people in the room. Nope, I wasn't at the wrong church service. A local Christian children's shelter had arranged to visit on this, the first Sunday of Advent. A few of the kids did a little musical act and their counselor later did a presentation on how their ministry is going. And other people were just visiting, I guess...I never did find out!
In front of me, two boys (non-visitors) were fooling around all through the worship and opening prayers, their fathers standing nearby and telling them to knock it off every few minutes or so. I resisted the urge to make a loud shushing noise. Then something in my heart changed. I looked at the two boys with their arms wrapped around each other and I thought, they are growing up in church together. May their friendship be long-lived! I usually sat with my parents as a child, but there was a period when I sat with friends from youth group in the back row (oooooh), passing notes and whispering. Maybe we didn't get the "church" part of it right all the time, but it still laid the foundations for deeper fellowship once the time came.