Grandma and Grandpa Moses lived a ways from their grandchildren, and good shopping. They lived their life, adapting to change as necessary, working hard to raise their own children well, supporting community functions, and delighting to attend church services together regularly, and when grandchildren came along, sometimes they spread themselves thin, to support adult kids and grandkids alike.
With the young'uns involved in so many extracurricular activities, and with an expansive road between them, the extended families spent hours in their vehicles trucking this way and that way through the rural country side that they lived in, to get to school and fields for games and affairs.
Somedays the adults felt run ragged to get each kid to his or her scheduled function, and on the weekends the kids were exhausted. They had to get up so early to catch the school bus Monday thru Friday, and this played in to Grandma Moses thinking one beautiful crisp fall day as the grandkids visited.
Grandpa Moses was just a good aimiable fellow, so when Grandma Moses said to him, "What do you think about us having FAMILY CHURCH at our house with the kids tomorrow, so I don't have to wake them up early and rush them to get ready for church?"
Grandpa Moses replied, "I think that's a good idea. The Bible says 'where two or more are gathered in my name, there I am', so Jesus can meet with us here just as well as he can at that church building."
When Grandma Moses told the kids they could sleep late, and she'd wake them when their sausage, bacon, and pancakes were ready, and after breakfast, they would have FAMILY HOME CHURCH, the kids giddily squealed and went back to their Parcheesi game.
Bedtime always came too fast when the kids were having fun at Grandma and Grandpa Moses house, but morning came even faster. Fortunately, Grandma Moses was an early riser and by the time Maureen, Lee, Lacey and Casey were awake, they could smell the sizzling sausage and bacon, and stacks of warm hotcakes waited patiently on the stovetop.
The four frollicked in to the kitchen and gave Grandma a morning hug, which was as routine as handwashing at this house. Grandpa sat at the table drinking his morning coffee.
Casey was a fast helper. She grabbed the plates and silver ware and set the table. Quite the little leader, she got Maureen and Lacey working together to pour the milk, and having been coached by his mom before the visit, Lee told his Grandma that he was going to wash the dishes!
When the table was set and the food was on, they bowed their heads for Grandpa to lead a thanksgiving prayer, and ask God's blessing on the breakfast feast. During breakfast, the kids talked more about their basketball practices. Casey made everyone laugh as she poured her syrup and told the story about how one of the balls she sent careening to the hoop, bounced and hit the referee on the nose.
Grandma Moses saw this as an opportunity to talk about what the appropriate response is when you feel like you have been slapped in the face, bonked on the nose or hurt, whether purposely or accidentally. The kids had good raisings, so their answers came easily and with wisdom:
"Well your not supposed to be ugly back...."
"Just BE NICE."
"If someone is being mean to me a lot, I think I should talk to them."
"Those are great answers," Grandma Moses said.
"It's not easy to be nice to someone who hurts you is it?" Grandma inquired.
"It's not easy for me to be nice to Grandma when she won't let me have ice-cream," Grandpa said.
"Oh, Sid!" Grandma exclaimed and popped him with her cloth towel, under the table. The kids giggled. They knew why Grandpa couldn't have ice-cream or the same pancake syrup as them either.
"Well, anyway, it's not easy for any of us to be nice to someone who hurts us or hurts our feelings, causes us trouble, but as followers of Jesus, we are instructed to..."
"That's what that TREAT OTHER PEOPLE THEY WAY YOU WANT TO BE TREATED verse is talking about," contributed Lacey.
Intent on his pancakes and sausage, Grandpa shook his head in agreement and satisfaction as he listened to his family.
"Well you kids know that Grandma and Grandpa usually go to church there where Bro. Simmons preaches, but yesterday we decided that we would have FAMILY HOME CHURCH here. We better get our plan going..."
"Who's gonna be the preacher?" Lee asked.
When you finish eating, you're each gonna take turns drawing a slip of paper from this bag. What ever you draw, will tell what you will do.
Minutes later, tummies were full and satisfied, and it was settled.
First Lacey drew SERMON.
Lee drew CHILDREN'S CHURCH.
Casey drew SONGS / HYMNS.
Maureen drew OPENING PRAYER and LIGHT CANDLES.
As the table was cleared, and Lee and Grandpa did the dishes, there was busy discussion about how to carry out each duty.
It was 10:00. Grandma said, "Ya'll go put on your day clothes now, and brush your hair and brush your teeth. I'm gonna get ready, and we will meet in the living room at 10:30."
Grandpa was already dressed in his jeans and button up shirt. He went into the living room and moved a small side table to the outside center of the seating arrangement and put a stool on top of that. Hot Dog!! A podium for delivery!!
Then he sat down and read his Bible while he waited.
Grandma came in next, and complimented Grandpa for his resourceful arrangement, as she grabbed the candles in the buffet drawer and lined three up on the lower level of the make-shift desk-podium and placed the lighter next to them.
When all the kids arrived, they politely sat on Grandma's comfy sofa and chairs.
Grandpa said, "Well we're all here."
He held his Bible and read, "Matthew 18:20; For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."
"Jesus said it, so He is here."
All their hearts felt warm and blessed.
Maureen lit the candles. Lacey asked if there was a reason for three, and Grandma said, "For the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit."
Lee said, "Shh."
Maureen turned around and very poised like, invited everyone to bow their heads and pray with her. She led a lovely prayer, thanking God for their blessings, and inviting Him to be at their family home church with them, and for his will to be done through out..........
Casey played a hymn on her smart phone that was of a common chorus that they all knew and could sing along with.
Grandma read scripture of the beatitudes.
Lee read, "When God Made You," from their Children's Bible for Children's Church.
Casey led another song singing, and Lacey stepped up to deliver the sermon. She spoke on how Jesus taught how to pray, and Christians can pray anywhere, anytime, and God is ready to listen, and He cares.
Casey played a modern Amazing Grace, and Grandpa closed in prayer, thanking God for his family, and asking the Lord's blessing on all present, and all at the church building, and any in need, and to help them be strong for Jesus and kind to everyone in the week, even to the mean or bothersome folks.
All said, "Amen!"
Lacey said, "Grandma, Grandpa, I want to do this again!"
Smiles from the others told Grandma that all agreed. She knew in her heart that she has a precious memory to treasure and relish in her mind over and over in the coming weeks, when all were back in their weekly routines.
This was an unconventional church service. Fictional, and inspired by a story that a happy grandmother shared with me.
When she shared her story, I thought, "How wonderful, that these children get to experience with their grandparents that worship and offering to God of your time and focus can happen at home, with family! How wonderful ! These children are going to grow up and be leaders, because of the active roles they get to play at such a young age.......... How wonderful !!"
I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Thanks for letting me share. I feel passionately that children benefit from seeing CHURCH practices (worship, study, Bible learning, prayer, ) outside of the church as well as in. If a child only experiences these elements inside the church building, they are being deprived or neglected spiritually by the grown-ups in their lives.
No doubt that God can make up for lost training, with the ministering of the Holy Spirit, but never the less, children are blessed to have this wonderful WALK in the Sonshine modeled for them outside of the church as well as inside.
Again, I am interested in your thoughts!
Grandma Mary Martha💙
I hope you link to the next of the series, to read about Priscilla and Joseph<link here<, and how their kids benefited from unconventional church, rather than have none.