The first Sunday of lockdown, church was obviously cancelled as we all had to stay at home. There was no getting kids ready and changing in to church clothes. Its sometimes a mad rush for our family but this Sunday, we didn’t have to go to church, or even get changed for church, we were watching a sermon on tv.
To recreate the church experience, I set up 4 dining room chairs for my wife, two kids and I. I also put our bibles and notepads in the basket to create the authentic church experience. I setup a camera at the back of the church, to simulate the media team who live stream the service.
We watched the sermon and afterwards, I offered my wife tea as we normally would have after church. So off I went to the kitchen to put the kettle on.
While I stood in the kitchen while I waited for the kettle to boil, I began thinking about this new church and the different ministries we have. We just heard the Word and now Tea Ministry. We have Sunday School school with our two children. We have prayer ministry. When guests come over, we become ushers. We have praise and worship when we play our music, instruments or sing in the shower. We have Communion, we have décor, we have catering, we have marriage ministry. Maintenance ministry, Finance ministry, Admin, Youth (when we get young people over), Sports ministry.
After being silly and setting up the lounge for church. I realised that our home has always been a church.
This environment is where God truly refines us. This environment allows us to love, to serve, to forgive, to be patient. The guy I see once a week on a Sunday doesn’t really do much to get on my nerves that requires forgiveness from me. We can be over polite at church and on our best behaviour, but this home church is the real thing. There is no hiding or pretending.
No body sees your grumpiness except your family. Few people have seen your sulky face at a Sunday service. When asked on a Sunday, how is your marriage doing? You put on a brave face to say all is well. Yet at home, at this church, the truth is revealed.
This church reveals the very truth of where you are at. It always has. And through those real and challenging moments, Gods word is ever present for us in those times. It is in those difficult times that husbands are called to love their wives. When no one is watching. When you don’t have to pretend.
The real church got birthed at a time when a man laid down his life. For the forgiveness of our sins, for our healing, for our iniquities, for our failings, for our shortcomings, for our sin. He demonstrated this perfect love for us that even though we are sinners he went to die on the cross for us.
In that same manner, our church, our home is fashioned. Husbands are to love your wives, like Christ loved the church and laid his life down for her.
In literature, when a character is alone on the stage and is speaking, it is known as a Soliloquy. This is when he/she is being most sincere because there is no one around to impress. His heart is full expressed with all his concerns and worrys and thoughts.
Our homes are that place. We can be free to not worry about being judged. We are free call out to God any way we wish without worrying about offending the person next to us.
When Jesus taught his disciples how to pray, he said “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. Truly I tell you, they already have their reward. But when you pray, go into your inner room, shut your door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen. And your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Now I am not saying the church meetings on a Sunday that we are used to are wrong. They are part of Gods plan. Do not forsake the gathering of the saints. We ought to meet as believers encouraging each other with words and songs and prophecies. However, this is a chance for us to re-examine this church called HOME.
It is an opportunity for us to exercise the lessons we learn with our families every week. We will be missing the mark greatly if we neglect this CHURCH.
Marriage is designed to glorify God and be a demonstration of his love. When two people come together before God in the marriage covenant, the fruit of that love is displayed through children. The family unit is one that God cherishes deeply. He knows that if the relationship is done his way, it is a powerful force.
When couples love and serve each others needs, despite their hang ups. When they can forgive each other over and over again for leaving clothes on the floor or forgetting to pack things away or feed the dog. I don’t know about you, but the guy I see once a week at church has far less offenses that the family I stay with every day. When Jesus was asked how many times must we forgive those who wrong us, he said 70 x 7 times. The only people I can think of who can offend us that much are the people we are with the most. Our family, our church.