A couple months ago, a young family began attending worship with us. They'd just built a house on a development nearby and wanted to check out some local churches. On one Sunday in particular, I did a children's sermon on prayer, where I satirically likened it to a magic trick. I first had a huge buildup where took out my wallet and said that with one little prayer it would suddenly fill with money. With another, a Porsche would appear in my driveway. With another, my muscles would grow. So I prayed my magic prayer, and of course nothing happened, the point being that these are not the types of things that we should be praying for. To close this little demonstration, I jokingly asked if anyone wanted to be sawed in half for my next trick. The daughter of this young family wildly and enthusiastically waved her arm, begging to be picked.
We didn't see this family for a few months, and I'd figured that they had found another church home. I'd even sadly and somewhat insecurely theorized that they had ended up at Gigantor Church down the road. But then this morning they showed up again, to my surprise and delight.
'Hey! Welcome back!'
'We're glad to be back. We asked the kids where they wanted to go to church today, and our daughter answered that she wanted to go to the church where she could be sawed in half.'
I'm willing to bet that this little girl has other memories already associated with our church, but the one point of reference was that children's sermon. So many moments at a particular place stick with us, and that was one of hers.