“To our bountiful Father above, We will offer our tribute of praise For the glorious gift of His love, And the blessings that hallow our days.” We drove out to Marsing last night for Bible study. I got up while they were singing to snap this quick photo. The view and weather were amazing. The only problem with driving to Marsing for Bible study is that you want to stay forever. And then when you get home you find you still have to feed the baby, change the baby, wake up the 2 and 4 year olds to put on their night night diapers, load the dishwasher, start the laundry, prep breakfast and lunch for the next day, shower, floss, and lock up the house. Meanwhile, everyone else stumbled in from the car and fell asleep in their clothes. But it was fun while it lasted.
One of the things I really appreciate about this group is how naturally they include their whole family in worship. “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” I think there were around 20-25 children and young adults last night. But they all sit still and quiet through Bible study, as well as through church. No one has to tell them to come, or to put away their toys or their phones. They immediately circle in when they see the pastor sit down. As though this is the highlight of their week, and these are their people. Which is, I think, one of the most potent ramifications of homeschooling. The loudness of the world is suddenly muffled, with it’s sports, music, fashion, events, and media. All rendered impotent and kicked to the curb. In that world, we can’t expect teenagers to go to an adult, hour long Bible study, much less children. We wouldn’t expect them to sing gospel hymns, or jostle over who got the hymnal while belting out the Old Rugged Cross. It’s a different place. And I happen to like it better here.
I can’t help but think that the way our children respond to church, to worship, to Bible reading, and old people, is the perfect indicator of how we are holding up our end of the fight in the trenches. We would like to think that we can dabble in the world and still keep our salt. Well and good, but since we’ve all proven we can be in the world, why not see if we can we survive for two seconds out of it? If we can’t even worship together it’s a good sign that we may have lost a leg, and are bleeding to death, in our now officially distressed bling jeans. Could just be.
There’s a good way to check. Take your children to church. Take them to Bible study. Take them to evening service. See if they enjoy it. Or even live through it. And if they can’t, turn something off, cut some ties, and step back. Because before we can be sojourners we have to be strangers. Not citizens and natives. Cuz, like Seth, we’re not from around here.