Thursday, January 12, 2012

Passing Notes in Church: A Long Held Tradition Continues...

Once upon a time teenagers passed notes to each other in church.  There is no doubt in my mind that there are 60 year olds out there today who were chastised by their preacher from the pulpit for their use of this mode of written communication in a worship service.  But that day is long past.  Teens text message each other during church now.  In fact, I suspect there could be a few adults using their smart phones for something other than the Bible app in a church service.

Believe it or not the long outdated practice of note passing was resumed during my sermon last Sunday. If you don’t think that is unusual, then consider this additional factor: the culprits confessed afterwards.  I obviously don’t expect such juvenile behavior from 80 year old adults, but what can I say?

As it turns out, they had a good reason for note passing.  My 80 year old couple observed a young man in his 20’s sitting in front of them during the service.  Somehow they ascertained quickly that he is hearing impaired.  So they passed notes with him during the entire worship period.  The elderly gentleman I am referring to is originally from Long Island.  It is a true shame that our young guest will never hear his distinct accent that enthralls everyone when he speaks publicly.

The young man handed me a note after church that said:  I want to be a part of the church here. I understand that you do not have an interpreter, but that is ok…
Actually it is not “ok.” We will figure something out.  But I can’t help but think that he felt warmly welcomed by my older couple.  I wonder if the tone of the note he handed to me was partially prompted by the attitude and mindset of my elderly note writers. I don’t know.  But I do know this: When people have a loving attitude, communication barriers are not going to hold them back.  I never thought I would say this, but I am:  I am grateful today for people willing to pass notes in church. 

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