When my son was little and brought home a good report card my father would give him money for every A and B he could attain.Now I didn't think much about this because it was a doting grandfather trying to encourage good grades and a special bond between him and his only grandchild.
Sunday at our church was a 40 day memorial service for someone who was deceased.His family had gathered together with our members and celebrated this mans' passing through liturgy and prayer.
After the service was finished 3 little children,who are not regular attendees,walked out of the church building and a parishioner asked his wife for three five dollar bills so he could give each child one for being good in church.
I got to wondering why this seemed so unsettling to me and am still not sure why this does not sit well.
True the children had been very well behaved and yes this was a generous offer on this gentlemen part but there is just something about paying a child for attending church and being good that just seems almost wrong.
As a child I can remember getting things from the nuns and priest when ever we did something special and were good but we never go things for attending or behaving at mass,It was just expected of you.
When my son and his friends were small the priest at the church would encourage them to participate in the mass it self.You might be asked to sing in the choir,be an alter boy or girl or just help out with doing and setting things up to help make the service that day special.
The children seemed to like this idea of helping and it made them more excited about being a part of the church and doing what was right for the pleasure of being proud of themselves for their good acts.
Money just seems so easy and to pay someone off for doing what is right just seems to not fit with the teachings of the church.
Maybe it would have sat better if the children were given religious picture cards or somethings more church like.
Dollars just seem so man made and unholy and are only a necessary need of the church to keep it running.In my mind,and I could be wrong,it almost seems like money is more important then just spending time with God and doing what is right.
I tend to think that a child would be just as happy to be patted on the shoulder and told what a good job he or she did and how proud you are of them for acting so grown up.
Does cash really have to be king even in church?