Friday, March 11, 2011

Starting family worship

Last night my wife and I started something we hope will become a daily practice. We had family worship. While Shannon nursed Baby Ben in the recliner, me and 2-year-old Samuel sat on the couch. We read a Psalm, prayed, and "sang" a hymn. The first two elements went smoothly, but the hymn-sing descended into chaos as Sam and I played tug-of-war with the hymnal -- with him shouting I do! I do! I do! -- while I tried to lead us in "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross." By verse two mommy was cracking up, and daddy was getting aggravated, so we cut it short. Hey, nobody said this was going to be easy!

I say all that to recommend a couple of helpful articles on this neglected practice from Jason Helopoulos, a PCA pastor in East Lansing. He offers 11 reasons for family worship and 9 practical suggestions for actually doing it. The last one is the most important. Persevere!

Maybe the most important advice for family worship is to persevere in it. There will be moments and even weeks where it seems like a chore and that little fruit is being born: your toddler has trouble sitting still, your teenager complains every night, or the tune keeps getting lost in the middle of singing. Just keep going! You are not alone, and your situation is not unique. Just keep gathering with your family in worship. Perseverance is the best remedy for all these ills. Over the course of time, most of these struggles will be overcome, and fruit that was invisible at the time will begin to show itself in the future.

We'll be gathering again tonight.

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