Fortunately I do have a volunteer caregiver Christian neighbor who helps get hubby to church. Kenny even lifts the wheel chair into the back of our SUV--a task too difficult for me. Kenny is even choosing to go to our Reformed church, leaving behind his Baptist background. I gave him Nicene Council's DVD "Amazing Grace" and "The Late Great Planet Church". Several years ago I had purchased extras of these DVDs not knowing who would get them.
We are called out from all of our own working to receive. What are we receiving? It is so much more than moral instruction, or how to have Christ reign over your finances, fix your marriage, and help you attain your best life now. We are actually receiving Christ and his benefits through the preached Word and the sacraments. (p. 194)Amen, Aimee. I get it. Those humanistic topics in the sermons really bother me and I am glad that I do not receive them in our worship service.
These are reflective questions from pp. 200-202 of Housewife Theologian by Aimee Byrd. The questions are in red and my answers are in black.
- How would you describe your current attitude toward regularly attending church on Sunday mornings? Highlight of week. How do you think your attitude affects your family's view of the church service? My husband and I love our church and I love the fact that we worship at 2 pm now.
- Do you consider the church as consisting of both holy people and holy place? Yes. How would that then affect: Your preparations before you Go? The ways you view and treat others there? How would you protect this time and space? Prepare for the worship.
- How is God uniquely present with us in our worship service in a way that is different from the rest of the week? How are we much more privileged in this way than the believers of Old Testament times?
- God in his majesty is graceful in both the spiritual and civil governments. What are the similarities and differences of how his grace affects believers and unbelievers?
- Why is the language of the temple so important throughout Scripture? This is where God dwells, or tabernacles among us. What is the meaning of the temple, and why is it so significant?
- How is your own weekly routine a story about nothing? I am going to read up on Seinfeld--the show about nothing and reflect. Is that what Monday through Saturday is supposed to be for us--insignificant? Not really. Every day is significant. I enjoyed the significance of what my husband was able to do this morning. He participated more fully in his getting dressed and walked without the walker to his spot in the den.
- What difference does Sunday make to our story? In other words, how is our worship service an act of the future breaking into the present, reorienting our thinking and living between the already and the not yet? Since I worship in a Reformed church, I often hear "already and not yet". I do not have to just sing Soon I will be done with the troubles of this world, Going home to meet my LORD. I have His presence already and already celebrate this reality on Sundays.
- In looking at our worship service as a covenant renewal ceremony, what covenant are we renewing? Would the answer be "the covenant of grace"? Aimee wrote I think it goes without saying that the implications of being included in the covenant of grace make life much more challenging for the Christian in some ways. (p. 495) In light of this, should we be preparing and accommodating our services primarily for unbelievers who may be visiting? We don't. Should our service look the same as our weekly entertainment venues to appear more attractive and updated? No.
- How do our responsibilities as citizens of God's heavenly kingdom have stronger implications than our citizenship in the common society? What may be some circumstances where this would become apparent? How does this actually benefit unbelievers?
- Do you find it hard to offer grace within the community of God's covenant people? Sometimes I feel I need others to say a word or encouragement for my caregiving journey for my husband. For example, my friend who is a caregiver also wants her pastor to ask how she is doing. Have you ever taken an injustice rather than asserting your own righteousness? My righteousness is as filthy rags and I need to forgive any injustices. Aime writes In the spiritual realm, justice has already been served and grace reigns. (p. 195) Do you teach this to your children? I teach what to do about bullies to students when I substitute teach.
- How has the church throughout history tried to impose its rule on the world? What dangers have come from that? Do you struggle with confusing these two kingdoms in your own politics? What are the particular challengers of this for American Christians? I have seen so much debate about two kingdoms when John Framer's book came out criticizing Michael Horton whom I respect. Two years ago I wrote about this HERE. Aimee, I want everyone in the Reformed world to get along. Theology hurts sometimes.
What doesn't hurt is the Sabbath. How much I do need that weekly Sabbath rest and observance. I wrote once HERE about Christians who are not in worship service. I hope to challenge some people I know on that issue also of non-church attendance.
Six days ago I posted chapter nine of this book. There has been one comment from my dear social media friend and only 9 views but that's okay--this blog is not my idol. However, yesterday I posted on my caregiving blog HERE and in 24 hours there has been 236 views including a new caregiver Christian who needs that blog for her journey. Thank you, LORD!
Also thank you for the Sabbath that gives
us rest from our labors.