The Wow Child

May 16, 2019
Volume 23, Number 19

The Handel & Haydn Society, America’s oldest continuously performing orchestra, had just finished playing Mozart’s “Masonic Funeral” on May 5. After the last note was played there was momentary silence as the audience marveled over their excellent rendition. Suddenly a child’s voice was heard: “Wow!” The audience at first reacted with laughter, and then quickly followed with applause.

Now the Society is searching for that child. Their goal is not to reprimand the child for shouting out, but to reward it with a personal reception by the conductor and a ticket to attend another performance. David Snead, President of Handel & Haydn, commented: “What sounded like a child of about six years of age couldn’t hold back,” and called it “something I’ve never before experienced in my 40-plus years of concert-going.”

I had a slightly different experience several years ago. At the conclusion of my sermons there is normally a moment of silence before the congregation begins singing a hymn. On this occasion a child slipped into that moment by shouting out “Yay!” (I tried not to take it personally.)

Children have a way of honestly expressing what is on their hearts. In Matthew 21 Jesus had just arrived in Jerusalem in what has been termed “The Triumphal Entry”. He was healing people who were blind and lame, and “the children [were] crying out in the temple and saying, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David’” (Matthew 21:15). “Son of David” was a term commonly used to refer to the anticipated Messiah.

The chief priests and scribes “were indignant”, Matthew recorded, “and said to [Jesus], ‘Do you hear what these are saying?’” (Matthew 21:15,16). Implied in that question was the expectation that Jesus would demand the children stop saying it. As you likely know, these religious leaders did not believe Jesus was the Messiah (though He is).

Jesus’ response to their indignance is worth consideration: “Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise’” (Matthew 21:16). In Luke’s account of this event we learn that Jesus also said this: “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out” (Luke 19:40). The children just couldn’t hold back the awe Jesus prompted in their hearts.

Long ago David wrote, “Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength, because of Your enemies, that You may silence the enemy and the avenger” (Psalm 8:2). Sometimes children speak truth when adults remain silent.

In that same psalm David marveled at “the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You ordained” (Psalm 8:3). That’s something more of us should do more often: to stop and consider God’s works. If we have the heart of a child we’ll be compelled to say “Wow!” Don’t hold back your awe.

Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.


Copyright, 2019, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).

“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.

Permission to reproduce and/or use the messages for noncommercial purposes is freely granted provided the messages are not altered.