What we often take for granted
Nip Ripken tells the story of how meeting with an imprisoned. The man left Ripken with a message for the American church. He says, “Don’t ever give up in freedom what we would never give up in persecution!
Of course this is one of those things eats away at you. Since then and a few other experiences, I have really come to have a great appreciation for freedom of religion. But if I look back this concept has been building since childhood.
I remember time and time again, my father telling me and at least one of my brothers how the national anthem often put a lump in his throat.
My dad didn’t leave us wondering though.
He usually gave his reasons to us, in preparation for our decision-making days.
One time, after the patriotic pageantry before a rodeo, this little conversation resurfaced. My brother asked if this reverence was linked to his time serving in Vietnam. Obviously as youngsters we didn’t word things quite this way but I’d be lying if I tried to even paraphrase the real dialogue.
What we can’t afford to take for granted
My dad explained to us that he had felt this way even as a child in school. He told us that there were people all over the world who couldn’t live freely. He said that couldn’t believe in, much less openly worship God without fear, like we could.
This is not a flag toting article for American patriotism. No, this is putting the glory of God at the forefront.
There is but one allegiance and we thank God for the freedom to run with His banner of love.
So what’s this got to do with family Worship, right? I want to propose that we (free Christian families) pray for these 3 groups of Christians who aren’t liberated to do so on their own.
Beyond prayer, I am suggesting that our family Worship be done on behalf of these brothers and sisters in our worldwide family.
This group includes Christians who have not been taught Family Worship.
We must remain grateful for his grace in showing us these treasures in scripture and for giving us personal models to emulate. We can’t take this time for granted.
We can pray for families across the globe that fit into this group.
What’s more, we can model this in our churches and to those we are personally discipling, teaching then the same way we’ve been taught.
This includes a growing number of Christians who are oppressed in many ways for proclaiming Christ.
Scripture tells us to relate to one another as family. There are especially gripping passages about carrying for our family that is oppressed. We are told to mourn and agonize with them as our own.
We can pray for these oppressed and marginalized people. We need to teach our children and families to do the same.
Americans, we also need to open our eyes to injustices that confront us on our own home turf without comparing anything but simply obeying God’s Word.
This category is for Christians who have been separated from their loved ones through death. There are other ways of separation but they can fall under the other 2 types.
Death is not the end for a Christian life but it sure feels like it for those who are still alive.
We must weep with those who weep. Sometimes the ministry of presence lays the groundwork for healing. This ground is crucial because it’s here that the enemy can often stake a claim.
We can pray for these as families. We should invest ourselves into them and look for new and radical ways to do this. We can’t accomplish this outside of the guidance of the Holy Spirit so be prepared to look with His eyes and not our own.