When I was a small child, I remember sitting on the pew with my family every Sunday for worship services. I remember how daunting and challenging it was to sit quietly for a whole sermon! Some weeks it would feel as though the time would drag on and on, while I sat there silently folding my arms or quietly flipping through the hymnal, willing for the sermon to end and set me free. Rarely did my family miss a Sunday sermon, so every week without fail my parents would parade all of us kids into the church and seat us on the bench in the back where we could easily be taken out if we misbehaved.
Mother would bring bible stories, or quite books to keep the youngest entertained and quiet so that her and father could pay attention to the service. Other times, she would bring small treats, such as, Cheerios, or Gold Fish crackers to keep our mouths busy so we wouldn’t be tempted to talk. I’d sit there with my little bag of treats and swing my legs off the edge of the church pew, too short to touch the ground, or hit the bench in front of us.
Now that I am older, I still attend Sunday worship service with my parents every week, never missing. Attending church, and sitting on the pew in the back has become a part of me, something that I can’t go without. My legs are much longer, so I am no longer tempted to swing my legs, or bring a treat to munch on. Sitting on the pews every Sunday has a different meaning for me now that I am older. I look forward to returning every Sunday and sitting on “our” bench, where I can think, ponder, and reflect while listening to the well-prepared sermon.
I look forward to the day when I am older and have a family of my own that I too can bring to Sunday worship services, and have them sit next to me on the pew. I look forward to the day when I have children of my own who will sit on the bench next to me and silently swing their legs off the edge, while munching on a small treat, the same as I had done when I was a child.