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"I tell you solemnly, anyone who does not welcome the Kingdom


of God like a child will not enter it" (Mark 10:15).


The late great humorist, Erma Bombeck, told the story of what


happened to her in Church one Sunday. She said,


"I was focused on a small child who was turning around and


smiling at everyone. He wasn't gurgling, spitting, humming, kicking,


tearing the hymnals, or rummaging through his mother's handbag.


He was just... smiling.


"Finally, his mother jerked him about and in a stage whisper that


could be heard in a little theater off Broadway said: 'Stop that


grinning! You're in Church!' With that, she gave him a glare, and,


as the tears rolled down his cheek, the mother added, 'That's better,'


and returned to her prayers." Bombeck reflected, "We sing, 'Make


a joyful noise unto the Lord!' while our faces reflect the sadness of


one who has just buried a rich aunt who left everything to her


pregnant hamster."


She continued, "Suddenly I was angry. It occurred to me the entire


world is in tears, and if you're not, then you'd better get with it. I


wanted to grab this child with the tear-stained face close to me and


tell him about my God. The happy God. The smiling God. The God


who had to have a sense of humor to have created the likes of us.


I wanted to tell him He is an understanding God. One who


understands little children who turn around and smile in Church,


and even curious little children who rummage through their mothers'


handbags. I wanted to tell that little child that I too have taken a few


lumps for daring to smile in an otherwise solemn religious setting.


By tradition, I suppose, one wears faith with the solemnity of a


mourner, the mask of tragedy. What a fool, I thought, this woman


sitting next to the only sign of hope -- the only miracle left in our


civilization. If that child couldn't smile in Church then where was


there left to go?" -1


Indeed, where is there left to go?


(Sunday Sermons Online)


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