As a pastor, I don't work in the nursery much. OK, I can't ever remember working in the nursery at church. I'm usually preaching or teaching when the nursery work is going on. This is not complaining on my part. There have been a couple of times years and years ago when a church would have trouble getting people to work in the nursery. I thought several times about just going to work in the nursery one Sunday morning and when people wondered where I was at preaching time I would say, "I'm in the nursery; if nobody else wants to do it, I guess I will." In my mind, this would make a great point. I've never actually done that. It did not seem to be the wise thing to do. There is the distinct possibility that worked better in my mind than it would in real life. Lest you think poorly of me, I know several pastor friends who have entertained similar thoughts.
When I was told a nursery worker was not able to come tonight and that would be a "first" for me I was a bit hesitant. Then they said that Mrs. Tina and Mrs. Carrie were both present. That was good enough for me. Those two ladies are professionals. They are also very sweet and kind so if I was going to do a nursery shift, this was the time. I was fairly confident they would not be hard on me. We also had Sheridan as our teenager helper. Wow, she was a professional as well. This was a great night to do nursery work.
We had fun (I think; I did and the ladies did most of the hard work). We had some very sweet babies. We had 5 boys. I actually don't remember any real crying. There was some loud expressions of joy, anger, excitement, and other unidentified emotions, but just for a second or two. We read books, pushed trucks, made silly baby sounds, asked them not to throw the toys, ate snacks, and picked up toys. There were other things as well, but you get the idea.
These gals are pros at nursery work!!
Nursery workers are the unsung heroes of church life (among others). If these people (we have men that work in the nursery as well) don't work in the nursery, then the Moms and Dads can't teach VBS. They would have to take care of their babies. We sure don't want neglected babies! If people don't work in the nursery on Sundays, then worship would be very difficult for some parents. It's hard to worship while tending to a 1 or 2 year old; not to mention the trips outside to do feedings or diaper changes. If you sat near the little ones, you'd want regular diaper changes. Of course, if the preacher was preaching on Isaiah 64:6 which says our righteousness is as filthy rags the dirty diaper might set an appropriate ambience. Unpleasant perhaps, but appropriate. We thank God for nursery workers who give up their time to worship so that someone else might be able to worship in a more effective and concentrated way.
You can probably think of some unsung heroes in your life. People who are not in the spotlight but play a very important role. Why not say thank you to them tomorrow? Why not look for those who make life so much easier and get so little thanks. You can probably find a few. Of course, we all need to be that unsung hero for someone else. Is there some thankless and dirty task that you can do to help someone else connect with Jesus in a deeper way? 2 Corinthians 4:5 says, "For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake."
Thanking God for the unsung heroes that help us in the abundant life
3 things I thank God for today
1. Nursery workers
2. A baby's smile
3. Jesus loves the little children