I took my children to a baptismal service last night. My four year old's first one.
I have just heard them playing a game called "baptise me" in the room next door.
I swear they haven't heard me standing at the door listening to them. Here's the bits of the game I can hear and see:
7 year old: why do you want to be baptised?
4 year old: because I want a new TV
7 year old: no, it's got to be about Jesus
4 year old: because Jesus made the windows and the curtains
7 year old: I baptise you in Jesus name. [ pushes younger child backwards over the arm of the sofa]
Now it's my turn
4 year old: why do you want to be baptised?
7 year old: because Jesus is so powerful
4 year old: I baptise you in Jesus name [ repeats the pushing over the arm of the sofa movement]
7 year old: Your turn again. Why do you want to be baptised?
4 year old: because I love Jesus
7 year old: cross your arms like this [ does the correct action!] I baptise you in Jesus name
4 year old: your turn! My turn to baptise you! Why do you want to be baptised?
7 year old: Because I used to have a broken leg and Jesus made it better
4 year old: I baptise you in Jesus name [ pushes over etc ]
This was hysterically funny to secretly watch, obviously some guidance is needed on how many times one can be baptised! but this goes to show how sponge-like little children are. When you think they aren't listening in a church service, they are taking everything in around them....in my church the person being baptised tells a little of their story leading them to the decision to be baptised as a believer.
I find it interesting that children are also able to issue doctrinal correction to one another (the new TV bit) and there's no big deal about it; no fall outs, church splits, huffs, bitterness. Just a simple adjustment is made!
So its not just cute.