I’m just back from a Sunday trip to Liepaja. I’ve written about visits there in the past, and I’ve also written about Sophie too.
As the service started Sophie and her two little friends were on the front row. It was lovely to hear their lively chatter as they pored over a book which they were interested in. They joined in the singing and then, at the appointed time, were prayed for and taken out to Sunday school, the still smiling Sophie hand in hand with the only little boy in the group.
The service continued, and then, towards the end the children returned and sat quietly on the front row. There was a final song and then the service concluded. Velta, who was leading the meeting, suggested that we say the Lord’s Prayer to close the meeting.
You could be forgiven for thinking that there is so far nothing very dramatic in the description I have given – and you are right. With only slight variations it could describe a Sunday service in lots of parts of the world.
It was as the service closed that my Sunday blessing came. Loud above the adult voices reciting the familiar prayer, I became aware of a different kind of voice, the shrill not-yet-completely-formed voice of a child. It was Sophie. Still too young to be able to read she confidently started to recite ‘Mūsu Tēvs debesis….’ and continued word perfect, not faltering until, her voice rising as if to give the whole prayer dramatic impact, she triumphantly finished with ‘mūžigi mūžos, Amen!’
It was a stellar performance from one so young, we adults smiled, and she, unaware of her remarkable achievement, ran off to do what small children do when a service has ended. I was left thanking God for the amazing parents who are teaching Sophie – and her little sister too – how to love God, and enjoy taking part, with the rest of the church family, in praising ‘Our Father in Heaven’.