Sunday, March 11, 2012

pondering knights and acolytes

Last night Eric and I watched The Kingdom of Heaven.  Based on what he'd heard, Eric thought I would like it.  I'm not usually a big fan of "battle" movies, but I took his word for it.  He was right.

It's quite the ponder-worthy story, with lots of quotes and themes worth unpacking, but one scene did stand out.  Balian had been left to defend Jerusalem, since the new king and his knights had taken off on a foolhardy quest in the desert.  The quality of this clip isn't great, but at least you can get the scene.  Orlando Bloom is obviously Balian (reason enough to watch it, eh?  wink).  The man questioning him is a Priest who repeatedly calls him a blasphemer for desiring peace with the Muslims, and to whom Balian later delivers one of his best lines in the movie, "You've taught me a lot about religion, Your Eminence".

"Who do you think you are? Will you alter the world? Does making a man a knight make him a better fighter?"


This morning, our 13 year old son Luke had already enjoyed an hour of Sunday School with his beloved Miss Corky.  He has a type of autism, but he's great for her - it's a small class and she just adores the kids.  But he wasn't too excited about going into "church".  I caught Miss Cheryl in the hall and asked her whether or not they needed help passing out bulletins in the lobby.  He perked up at that idea, but she did me one better.

"How about you help me today?" she asked.


"Well, I could teach you how to be an acolyte. We light the candles and take care of things on the altar..."

"Yes!  Yes yes!"

"You'd have to sit with me the whole time..."

"Yes! Yes yes!"

"Mom, is this okay with you?"

"Absolutely, but this is a really grown up job, this is important" (I said, directing my gaze at Luke).

"Well, you know, I am a real teenager!" he stated, proudly.
just his size

They found a robe his size, and I left them to it.  Eric and I joked about the church not getting burned down, but our friends blew it off with, "Eh, we have fire extinguishers!" (liturgical lutheran SO does not equal stiff and formal)

So Luke and Miss Cheryl served as acolytes this morning.  He performed his duties beautifully, but there was an even greater transformation.  He sat perfectly throughout the entire service.  He didn't have any "figures" or "animals" with him, that he typically "can't live without".  He never once laid down or pointed to the door, asking to leave.  He didn't make any odd noises.  He was, basically, perfect.  This has never happened.  I mean, he isn't ever "bad" but is almost always restless.  Wearing that robe - being dignified with responsibility -  grew him up, almost instantly.

practicing before service
"Does making a young man an acolyte make him a better participant in the worship service?"


Best of all, off and on throughout the service I saw him hug Miss Cheryl, or just pat her on the back or the arm.  Warmed my heart to pieces (and hers, too, I could tell).

Today was the longest service we've attended there, since they introduced and welcomed new members and that took some time.  But the handsome, young acolyte enjoyed every minute.

And so did I.

1 comment:

Bobbie S. said...

Love your piece about Luke, the acolyte.