The Door to the Church

This weekend has been an awesome, refreshing, faith-filled weekend that has me thinking about a lot of things. Vibrant Faith Ministries talks about how home is church too! They are so right! I realized something this weekend in the course of our conversations. When my parents got divorced, it would have made such a difference in my life and my sister’s life if our parents came with us to Confirmation etc. The reality is that families are no longer 2.5 kids, a mom and a dad, and a cat or a dog. So how can we equip and help families to realize that home is church too. This morning we had wonderful people from Vibrant Faith Ministries with us in worship. I love what he said about how our doors are our front doors to the church. What would happen if all the homes in the world saw their front doors as the door to the church? Im not suggesting that it has to be complicated. In fact, it isnt at all. Talk to each other, engage in caring conversation, spend time being the church in the world, keep up with those riturals/traditions that are a part of your home and represent who and whose you are. My mom is one of the most faith-filled and faithful women that I know. Even though she lives with a mental illness, she has never let that get in the way of who and whose she is. She has been for me the embodiment of what faith and the church look like. For me, church truly did begin at home. And I think for many of us that is the case but I also think that sometimes we dont realize the impact we have on our children, grandchildren, etc. Praise be to God for my mom and other caring adults who I caught my faith from. This week may you take the time as a home to talk to each other, to pray together, or to do something missonal together.

I cant help but think of all the doors I encounter in a day. What if all those doors were a reminder that the front doors of the church arent at the church, but everywhere that we encounter Christ? At work? At play? in our cars etc?

I am reminded of the words found in Deuteronomy 6:6-9 “Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Bind them as a sign on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

(The thoughts and opinions represented in this post are entirely my own. However I truly do believe that the work and mission of Vibrant Faith Ministries is extremely important to the church today!)

Talk About It

Conversations are happening around us all the time but do you realize how important each of these conversations is to your life? At the church I work at, we use caring conversation all the time; in our Confirmation program, in our Bible studies. But more than any of this, conversation is an important part of our homes as well. Now think about it! How many times a day do you find yourself engaging in a conversation?

Maybe you are a parent and many of your conversations involve simply asking your children how school was or how their day was? Most of the time Ill bet you get a pretty morous answer; “ok”, “alright” or another one word answer. These conversations might be simple but it seems to me that eventually you will have to converse about the hard stuff; the stuff that neither one of you probably wants to talk about.

Caring conversation is essential to all our relationships! If we can’t talk to each other, then how will we able to talk about the tough stuff? How will we be able to learn to trust each other if we don’t talk to each other? Our confirmation program and our faith milestones programs bring in every home of every child in that specific class. What has been absolutely amazing to watch is how important that time and those conversations are to the homes of this community of faith. WOW! I’ve seen divorced parents sitting at a table with their child TALKING to each other; not yelling, not arguing but simply talking to each other. What a wonderful example of why these conversations are so important!

Too much of our lives these days are busy running from here to there to here again and back to there that we simply dont take the time to sit down together, we simply run through the drive-thru, grab supper, and head to our next activity. But the truth is we will get so much more out of our relationships and life if we take the time to talk. As I grow older, I have really come to appreciate and realize why I need “caring conversation” in my life. I think of my relationship with my own mom who lives in a nursing home because of her illness (she is manic/bipolar;had a nervous breakdown shortly after my sister was born almost 30 years ago) we dont have the most in-depth conversations. She isnt the mom I once knew. However I know that when I call her, it means the world to her. Our conversations may be short and brief but they have also allowed us to have the tough conversations. Recently a family member lost their child and I had to tell my mom. If it hadnt been for our “caring conversations,” I know this would have been much more difficult.

So tonight give it a try; turn off the tv, sit down for supper and simply talk to each other. “Caring Conversation” can be as simple as sharing about your day today. Enjoy some “caring conversation”, make it a ritual, and then let me know what you think.