We took The Kid to church this morning.
Let me back up: Last night we took The Kid to a Great Lakes Loons minor league baseball game at Dow Diamond in Midland. This is an awesome baseball venue -- Semi-Son-in-Law the sports maven and professional stadium aficionado can't believe how nice it is -- and The Kid had a great time, even though he could barely sit still for an inning before wanting to get up and explore the grounds. He came home with an armful of souvenir bling he bought with part of his chore money, plus autographs from several players and Lou E. Loon, the team mascot.
The game went into extra innings, so we suspected our young charge would be hard to rouse this morning at 7-ish. But he was a good sport, and we made it to church without complaint. As a matter of fact, The Kid had a wonderful time. He really likes our pastor, whom he'd met earlier in the week in his civilian mode. Our church friends, especially the older ones, welcomed him warmly and fussed over him and made him smile.
In lieu of our normal service we had a version of "Luther's Hymn Mass" -- instead of our regular liturgy we used some of the congregation's favorite hymns strategically placed to convey the same liturgical concepts. So there was a lot of hearty singing. When it came time for the sermon the pastor, to use an analogy appropriate for the previous evening, hit it out of the park, taking a Gospel text that can be used in ways to clobber "sinners" in a manner that The Kid hears at the various angry Bible-banging churches his mother takes him to, when she attends, and instead applying the metaphors of seeds and soil to God's love and grace scattered indiscriminately throughout all the rough patches of our lives. We had a baptism, which we got to experience up close and personal just a few seats fron the font. The Kid got a welcome and blessing when we took him up to the altar at the Eucharist. And -- I can barely believe this -- it turns out that one of our newest members was The Kid's speech teacher back at his last school, so they had a very happy reunion; she knows he comes from a dysfunctional home situation and has been concerned about him ever since he moved away from her district.
Afterward, en route to A&W for lunch, I asked The Kid, "So...what was the most interesting part of church for you today?"
Sometimes it all comes together in church. Today felt like one of those days.