A lesson from Dad
I remember my father having a monthly liturgy for paying the bills. On the first day of each month he would sit at his roll top desk and gather the bills. He would sort them in order of importance and place them in a pile with the most important on top. At the top was always the mortgage, then the car loan and utilities, insurance, groceries, investments, the newspaper subscriptions and kid stuff, and so on. He would get out his neatly balanced checkbook and begin paying the bills so that the most important were paid first. Being a curious child who liked to help, it wasn’t long before I picked up on the fact that first check my father actually wrote each month wasn’t the mortgage, but my parents monthly pledge to our church.
I didn’t think of this much at the time, but now as a parent, I understand it as an intentional ordering of my parent’s priorities. For my parents, faith in God and the church’s work in the world was the most important thing. And next to it was modeling that for their children. Because of this we attended worship weekly despite the sundry of challenges, we volunteered, we served, and my parents gave of their first fruits, and my brothers and I were expected to do the same with our allowance. I remember well the struggles, as we negotiated all our different activity schedules and other demands so that church could remain at the center of our lives.
As parents, Meredith and I are trying to set the same examples for our kids, so that they know that faith in God and the church are the most important things. That is why we have them in worship weekly despite all the challenges of Sunday mornings that come with two parents who work in the church. It is why we struggle to keep church at the center of our ever-demanding schedules. We want our children to know that faith God and the work of the church is the most important thing and that it stands at the center of our lives. We try to make sure our actions demonstrate such. Sometimes we royally fail at this and sometimes we succeed.
This Sunday we have the opportunity to bring before God our pledges of time, talent, and treasure in worship. In joyful thanksgiving we will lay before God our intentions for the coming year while we sing praises. This is an incredible and gifted community that loves God and serves others in a great variety of exciting ways. I love this place and what is has become. I encourage you to think about the priorities you have for your family as we prepare for Sunday. My family is doing the same.
I often wonder what would happen if we allcame to worship everyweek. If we all loved God even more than we already do. If we all volunteered more and spent more time helping others than we already do. If we all sang more…Could we change this world even more?
Soli Deo Gloria!
Ben Keseley, Minister of Music