“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks” John 4:23
Jonathan is our youngest child, what South Africans refer to as a “laat lammetjie” (late lamb), being nine years younger than Christie and seven years younger than Matt. He was conceived in Canada, born in South Africa on 25 October 1994, and returned to Canada when he was two years old. Jono’s a wonderful member of our family, a special blessing from the Lord, even though his older brother and sister jokingly tell him that he was adopted and they weren’t, and that Mum and Dad love them more than they love him! (Both statements are false).
There are many gifts and character traits that make Jono the unique person he is. But one of the special things for which he’s known is his ability to sing out. When he sings he opens his mouth, opens his lungs, and gives it all he’s got. There’s no holding back, no inhibitions. If it’s a school or church production and the other children are a little timid, Jono comes through strong. In fact his Grade 2 teacher, Mary-Lou McPhedran, had a dream prior to the school Christmas play in which she dreamt that things hadn’t worked out too well because Jono hadn’t arrived. When she woke up, she was distressed enough to call us and make sure we’d be able to get Jono to school in time for him to sing.
Jono’s singing is a wonderful testimony to those of us who know him. I’ll sometimes walk into the kitchen and hear him singing a song about Jesus that he’s composing on the spot, or hear him joining in with one of the other family members with a pleasant harmony or melody.
But more important than his special ability to sing is the obvious passion and delight with which he sings. As a youngster he knew more about the heart of a worshipper than many adults know. There’s an abandonment to God in his singing, a lack of self-consciousness, an innocence, and a joy that bubbles from deep within his spirit.
Which is why, even though Jonathan doesn’t realize it, he’s been an example to me of how I should “worship the Father in spirit and truth” John 4:23. As he’s stood next to me while we’ve sung in church I’ve begun to learn that unless I change my adult ways and become like a little child, I will “never enter the kingdom of heaven” Matthew 18:3.
I’m very thankful for Jonathan. Through his childlike faith and his “no holds barred” approach to worship, I’m discovering how God wants us to worship Him with all we’ve got. Nothing should get in the way of giving Him our very best. When we sing, we should let it rip, worship like we know we’re His children, sing as if we’re in the throne room of heaven, and praise Him as if there’s no tomorrow.