Friday, February 17, 2006

Walter Writes on Your Family and Getting to Church on Time

Click here to read the whole thing:

Walter is this old guy who writes letters to our church that I occasionally read on Sunday nights. I liked this part of his last letter

"Not too long ago, most folks up here understood the Sabbath to mean something. I’m not so sure about their theology, but one thing I did like – they got themselves ready for Sundays.

The movie player (whether DVD, VHS, or BETA) has done more to trick the saints regarding Sundays than most care to admit. I am always saddened when I watch certain families walk into church bleary-eyed and wrinkle-faced all because they were up to 2:00AM watching a bunch of dogs rescue a teenager or lion kill a witch. I am not talking about the wisdom of what you watch, rather the wisdom of when you watch!

I am sure it seems like a nice thing to sit down on a Saturday night with your brood gathered round, eating popcorn and cheering the good guys on your television screen. But when such a thing is done too late, you are teaching your family. And I fear what you are teaching them is a Biggie-sized combo of “movies are life” and “God’s not that important.”

Now, I am picking on the movie-goers and movie-watchers, but only as they represent the point I am trying to make. The diversion of choice may be different for every family... having company for one, visiting family for another... but the issue is the same.

In the old days, a man set a bed time for Saturday nights so that his family would be rested and ready for the Lord on His day. This was because that man valued that time at church with the Lord’s people. Just like a business man who makes sure he gets a good night’s rest before a big appointment, so these fathers would make sure that everyone was in and accounted for in good time so they were all ready in the morning to meet with the Lord.

My first piece of advice then, for family worship, is to learn to go to bed on time. I like to make some money on the farm – that’s how we live! So, I value hard work at the right time. Fact is, the cattle need milking every day at 5:30AM. That’s just when it’s got to be done. Since I value my income, I get up every day and do the milking. Now, I think if you truly value the Lord, you will get to bed on time and to church on time... wide awake and bushy tailed!

I don’t recall the verse that suggests that a gathering of the elect in this world ought to be for the purpose of a nap. We ought to be awake, at least, when we meet with our God. “Worship now – Nap later” ought to be one of the mottos branded across the back of our favorite pew.

Now, it may sound strange, but you may want to think about having a departure time in order to get to worship on time. I don’t know too many bosses that will let you show up late week after week and keep your job. So a man who is always late to church ought to think a little about how to get himself there on time. If he is always late, he always misses out on the fellowship before the service, prayer for the service and important parts of the service like announcements and singing.

If you are going to pick up your friend at 2:00, then you do a little math to figure out when you have to leave your house in order to get to that pick up place on time. Seems to me that your church services are in the same place week after week, so you should be able to find a time that you need to leave. Once you have done that rocket science, you come to the most important part... you remember it and do it! In fact, you may even learn to schedule in a little more time than you actually need just to take care of things like ice on your windshield, closed highway exits and a line up at the Timmy’s. If being with the Lord’s people is important, and it is, then I think that the most of us could come up with some kind of workable plan.

So, you need to go to bed on time, then get up and leave on time. If you do those two things you will find your stress decreases and your joy overflows!"


You can read the rest at the link above...