So I was sitting on my back porch, all ready to answer my own journaling questions for Housewife Theologian, Chapter 10. As it turns out, making the questions is a lot easier than answering them. I was preparing to lead a small group, and thought I would breeze through number one pretty quickly. It's meant to be more of an introduction question before we get into the theology of the church:
1. How would you describe your current attitude toward regularly attending church on Sunday mornings? How do you think your attitude affects your family's view of the church service?
This one should be easy enough, since I love going to church. And yet, I have found that the devil works the hardest in the Byrd household on Sunday mornings. It's inevitable: I will be challenged with multiple obstacles while we try to get out of the door by 9:00 AM. One child will come waltzing in my bedroom with a ridiculous outfit choice, the dog will NOT come in, and there is of course the expected breakfast stain all over someone's (by someone, I usually mean me) church attire. This shouldn't be difficult, since I'm awake three hours before "go time." But it's seems like the Sunday morning version of myself is like those slow-motion dreams when you're being attacked. I'm clumsy, ineffective, and can't seem to get the right words out of my mouth.
Sure, we always make it out of the door. But often my family ends up seeing an annoyed, stressed version of me on Sunday mornings. So I titled my answer: What I want my family to see on Sunday morning. Here's my bulleted notes that provoked some great discussion that evening:
For the preached Word
To be with God's people
A need: coming to the table hungry.
· A sense of calling:
The call to worship is more than an invitation: Ecclesia
Discuss our liturgical response
Horton quote: "Created by speech, upheld by speech, and one day glorified by speech, we are, like the rest of creation, summoned beings, not autonomous" (People and Place, 61).
· Appreciation for what really matters:
Not the messy kitchen
Not our sleep deprivation
Not our sports teams
· Family reunion:
A picture of the gathering and great feast that is to come!
· Even duty:
Let's face it, we are sinful creatures and we don't always feel like going.
Obedience to the call no matter how we feel.
"Many are called, but few are chosen" (Matt. 22:14).
We are part of the blessed few.
Christ pursues us.
· Eagerness to receive God's gifts:
Where and how God has promised by his means of grace
Not in an extra hour of sleep
Not by lounging around on the porch or with a morning of fishing
In Christ, our Sabbath.
I know articles are typically supposed to expand on thoughts, and not just drop them in outline form like this. But each one of these bullet points could be an article in itself. Maybe you could pick one of them to meditate on this weekend as you are preparing for Sunday morning.
reformation21 is the online magazine of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting reformation21 and the mission of the Alliance. Please donate here.
Hauerwas: A (Very) Critical Introduction
The Doctrines of Grace