Earlier in the year I was with some of our new acolytes. They had come out on a Saturday morning to be trained to help lead worship. They were going in pairs to light the altar candles for the first time while the rest of us sat in the pews, watching on and chatting about school and life.
One of the young boys there said, “Rebekah, do we get to learn to carry the cross next?”
“Yes, I think so,” I responded.
But, the experienced acolyte leading the training taught them what to do with the offering plates next.
“Rebekah,” he said again, “When do we learn to carry the cross?”
“Soon,” I said. “I am sure that is coming next.”
“Good,” He said. “That’s why I’m here. I am here to carry the cross.”
It struck me that a 12 year old was so sure of his purpose and calling. When we talked about it — he knew that it wasn’t just participating in worship, it was something greater. He knew the true weight of carrying a cross, of being a part of ministry, of changing something in his life for the better.
Every time he acolytes now, I never forget what he told me. And every time he acolytes, he smiles ear to ear before walking through the congregation.