The church where Nathan is employed, and where I usually attend, has instituted a new event in the past two years: a separate Christmas Eve service for families with children.
Because children can be distracting to those around them.
Children are sweet blessings to any family and to the church family as well! What if we allowed their small, occasional whispers or rare cries to point us toward the baby Jesus, fully God yet fully human, a helpless, noisy babe - his birth most likely not a "silent night," much as I love that carol. What if we allowed their "disruptions," when such noises occur, to remind us of the man whose coming we celebrate, who said, "Let the little children come unto me... for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."
What about that?
But the children can't understand the service, so they need a separate one of their own where adults who consider themselves "good with children" can talk down to the young ones.
Can't they understand? Do they really need a separate service? Can't six- and seven-year-olds sing Once in Royal David's City? Weren't the words, after all, written for little children? Do they not know the words to O Come, All Ye Faithful and Silent Night; can they not sing alongside their parents? Can they listen to a brief message (as all Christmas Eve messages should be)? After all, if any service ever should be accessible to children, shouldn't it be this special Eve on which we remember the coming of a Baby? Speak your theology throughout the year, by all means. If your sermons must be too long or a bit dull, we will listen patiently. But on this one night, let the children come. Let the church be all present at once. Let the families be together to worship Christ, the Infant King.