Sons and Daughters of the King
Last night, Emily and I were sitting down on the couch waiting for our daughter, Eleanor, to get sleepy. Like usual, it was 9 pm and she was wide awake, happy as could be. We’ve started trying to go through a nightly “family worship” bedtime routine, in hopes that it will lull her into peaceful slumber (side note: it doesn’t). Part of our routine is to sing a couple verses of a hymn, followed by the doxology. Perhaps my favorite moment from last night was how, right after singing “Amen”, she let out a (particularly cute) coo followed by a grin. Our plan to lull her to sleep had failed, but our hearts were content in God in that moment.
Obviously, this is a fun stage. We’ll continue to sing songs to our daughter that will make no sense to her for quite some time, and her response will vary from smiles and happiness, to tears and whaling (hopefully not because of our bad singing). But there might be a time in her life in which our singing before bed will be met with some sort of pushback, or disinterest, or resentment. Especially on evenings when she has friends over, mom and dad’s interruption of nightly family worship may become downright embarrassing. “Yeah, my dad is a pastor…” I can already hear her explaining. (Yes, I know, I tend to think about things that are WAY down the road haha.)
This thought, honestly, haunts me. As new parents, Emily and I have a fresh perspective on the desire for our kids to know and love Jesus. Faced with this deep and longing desire, I am deeply burdened with the many stories of how being a PK (pastor’s kid) is challenging in unique ways.
Why do I tell you this? Because recently, at Bible Study, I was reminded of what it means to be the church. I was reminded that the church’s role in my daughter’s life, or in the lives of your kids, your neighbors, your co-workers, or your unbelieving friends is vitally important. The church is a means of grace through which God SAVES. Here’s what it looked like in Acts 2, right after the apostles received the Holy Spirit and baptized over 3,000 new members into the early church.
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings, and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”
I love this picture. It’s a depiction of a community of people that’s so in love with Jesus that they live their lives completely differently. Although comprised of young and old, with many different gifting, talents, and passions: They care for one another, they eat in each others homes, they praise God together, and amazingly, they have favor with all the people – and the Lord adds to their number. These Jesus people are so thirsty for God, and so on fire for loving neighbor as self, that the community around them wants in. I don’t think I’m reading into the text too much to say that the kids witnessing the early church were among those being saved by God.
Acts 2:42-47 is not a passage about evangelism. It’s about the church being the church, and God using it as a means to add to the number of those that are saved. When we gather together, devoting ourselves to Biblical teaching, breaking bread, singing praises, and caring for one another, we are living out the character and heart of God. When our church looks like that picture in Acts 2, we are showing the world, including our kiddos, that we are valued Sons and Daughters of the King, and they are too.
Next Friday, October 9th, we’re going to gather for a Night of Worship from 7:00-8:30 pm to celebrate our standing as Sons and Daughters of the King. I encourage you to bring your kids, and invite your neighbors, so that they would be witnesses of our love and devotion to Jesus and to each other.