Hebrews 10 19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Sometimes the Lord blesses you with a really big idea. Or does He? You be the judge.
Last Sunday was the last Sunday of our school year Sunday School. The children were scheduled to give a “mini concert” after the service of Phillip Magness’ wonderful songs on the Catechism. They did so. They sang the books of the OT, NT. They sang Phillip’s excellent settings of Luther’s Morning and Evening Prayers. And then, holding hands in front of the congregation, they sang “The Lord’s Prayer.” (I was singing along with them on the last one because I knew it).
The problem is, only eight of our nearly 30 Sunday School kids, were there to sing them. (I will excuse one family where the father has been very sick lately). While many complain about poor communication, two letters went out to the parents about this event. There was no lack of communication. There was just a lack of children. Those eight kids have my undying admiration. They sang so well in spite of the diminished numbers.
My wife, NEVER the shrinking violet, chose to speak up after they sang. Maybe many pastors might worry about their wife speaking up. I have to say: I love her…and she’s absolutely right. I stand behind her entirely. I’m glad she said what she said. I definitely “married up.”
What did she say? She talked about how sports leagues mean that from week to week we often see as many as 20 and as few as 5.
Since when did the Sabbath Day become optional? And are we faithful if we let such things get in the way of hearing God’s Word and growing in it? (You answer the question).
So, inspired by the woman I am privileged to be married to, I had an idea.
What if Christian parents stood up to their local sports leagues and drew a line? NOT ON SUNDAY!
What if there was an organization that put these families together, organized them, and gave them support in drawing that line? Let’s call it C.C.F. “Christ Comes First.”
Hebrews 10:25 could be our mission statement. “Let us not forsake the gathering together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
The “gathering together” is the synaxis. The early church term for corporate worship. It is tied neatly with Matt. 18:20, For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” This “gathering together” isn’t our doing. Jesus makes it passive in Matt. 18. The Holy Spirit gathers us together. He gathers us together around His Word and His gifts of forgiveness and life. He gathers us around what Jesus calls “the one thing needful” (Luke 10:42).
In Luke 10, Martha was too busy preparing the meal to sit down at Jesus’ feet. Jesus gently scolded her in favor of her sister Mary, (who Martha wanted Jesus to scold for being lazy), because when Jesus was in the room, she sat down at His feet and heard His teaching.
If Jesus is in the room, it’s best to be there! He’s “in the room” every time we have “the gathering together” on Sunday morning. He’s in the room forgiving sins, meeting our greatest need!
If we love our kids, do we take them from this in order to get them to a baseball game?
Can we EVER justify taking our children from Christ’s presence this way?
Doesn’t Christ ALWAYS come first (C.C.F)?
I really want to know what you think. Please take the time to email me, phone me, whatever. Contact info is below.
Thank you for taking the time to read this!
Learning “the teaching” (Matt. 28:19) along with all of you,