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Sunday, 21 June 2015

Suffer Little Children

Today being a summer's day, it features the first big Child Naming Ceremony of the year. Please can all Beaker Folk please note the following, in preparation for Mylie and Kylie's Naming.

We're expecting about 150 additional adults today, so the Moot House will be full. If you really must sit on "your" bean bag, get to the Moot House an hour early. Guests at Blessing Services arrive very early, or sometimes very late when the mothers confuse it with a wedding.

If you turn up on time, and someone is sitting in "your" bean bag, don't waste your time tutting and looking at it. This family is working class. Your passive-aggressive middle class grievances will not be ignored - simply unnoticed.

There will be a lot of children. They will make a lot of noise. If this is a problem for you, bring ear plugs. If the sight of small people whizzing around at high speed disturbs you, wear welder's goggles.

Because most of these people haven't been to an act of worship since the last blessing they attended, they won't know when to sit, stand, kneel, light tea lights etc. This may make them feel awkward. So please can our "regulars" sit near the front. Then the visitors can see that you don't know what you're doing, either.

None of these people will know the traditional Beaker hymns. So I've chosen modern choruses such as Shine, Jesus Shine and Abba Father. They won't know these either. But at least they're shorter.

During the Restrained Greeting of Peace, none of our visitors will know what to do. They only go around shaking hands with complete strangers on New Year's Eve. Leave them alone. If you force them to shake your hands they will be terrified. If you try to share a Kiss of Peace, you will likely be punched in the teeth. And I won't testify against them in court. If they all leave at this point, thinking it's all over - don't panic. We're holding the offering early.

The doors open at the pub they've booked at 12 sharp. So there may well be an exodus at ten to. The Beaker Quire will play loudly to cover the sounds of tyres chucking gravel around as they belt out the car park.

Above all, remember that Kylie and Mylie are children of our Heavenly Parent. They come to receive a blessing, themselves undeserving, unable of earning grace. They and their family are not invading "your" space. They are being welcomed into God's. They're not interfering with "your" service - they are showing you a lesson about God's free love.

And, chances are, they won't be back next week. So you've that to look forward to.

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