Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well.
We just returned home from visiting my husband’s father and step-mother in New Brunswick. What a joyous time with family!
I love being with family. I especially love when our children, spouses/partners and grandchild come home. It may be busy and chaotic but it is among the most treasured activities I experience. I would bet this is how God feels when we go to his house.
Let’s top up our coffees and unpack this thought….
The Fellowship of the Believers: They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-47
Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God…. be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:1-2, 18b-20
Our eldest son lives in Toronto, a couple hundred kilometers from us. We see him about once a month. When I receive his homecoming text, “Hey Mom, I’m coming home next weekend,” I usually text the others to invite them for a family dinner during one of the evenings he is home. It doesn’t take long for the replies to come and in minutes, a family gathering has been arranged.
For me, having the whole family together is such a joy; it literally warms my heart. I am finding that it is not only the joy of having them all home enjoying my meals, but seeing the joy they have in seeing each other. I love listening to them catch up, giggle together, poke at each other, and reminisce – which usually includes poking fun at my husband or me.
How the Lord must love when His children come together to be with Him in Worship and Praise but also as they come together to catch up on their own lives with each other, and care for and love each other. It must thoroughly warm His heart. However, do we see going to church in this light? Although God extends the family invitation every week, how often do we see it as an invitation or privilege to be in His presence and the presence of our brothers and sisters?
When our children were young and asked, “Why do we have to go to church?” I would respond, “We don’t have to go, but we need to go, and I want to go. It’s no different than if Grammie asked us to come for a dinner and visit; would we not want to go? Would we tell her ‘No, we don’t want to?’ Absolutely not! It’s the same with God. He has invited us to be with Him and the family that we will be spending eternity with. It is our privilege and honour to spend time with Him and his family at His house.
You are a very loved member of the family of God and missed when you are not present to share in the worship, fellowship and praise to our Heavenly Father, where He also bestows blessing and peace, comfort and wisdom to you at each visit. It’s always nice to have our daily individual chats and devotions with Him, but there is something holy about the whole family coming together hearing the family stories of how salvation was attained for us, receiving His blessings and sharing in His love for us. He is extending the invitation: Do you want to go to Dad’s this week for a visit? The whole family will be there!
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for my family and the cherished memories we have. Thank-you for inviting me to be with You and my brothers- and sisters-in-Christ. Forgive me when I take Your invitation for granted or disregard it. Please help me to be thankful for the opportunity to come and be spiritually fed by You and to share in the lives of Your whole family. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN!
Reflection: Reflect on how you view attending worship. Do you have a church home? If not, perhaps it’s time you find a church home, or attend with a friend that does. The invitation is always open. If so, do you feel like you are with family when you attend worship? Why or why not? Pray for your church family. How can you help make your church members see and feel like they are part of the family of God: His children.