Kids and worship
Every weekday morning, before beginning any other school, I gather my children on the living room couch for family worship time. Of all our daily activities, this one seems the most doomed for disaster from the start. But, stubborn woman that I am, I persist. Not being particularly musical, I cue up several youtube videos with lyrics for us to sing along with. We read the Bible, each person prays,we do some Bible memory and occasionally act out Bible stories. It should be so simple.
Alas! It's difficult to read the Bible when someone is flipping the lights on and off so quickly that you feel you're at a 70's disco. It's hard to feel close to God when one son is praying, "Lord help (my brother) to stop kicking me so that I don't have to punch him," and another chimes in with, "Help (my brother) to get his finger out of his nose."
Then, the videos: "Wait this isn't the right one! I want the one that shows the goat standing on a mountain!" "Ha, ha, that guy has a funny beard!" "Click like!" Click dislike!" "Add to favorites!" "Ooh, this one has 2 million views!" All the while, I'm trying to model the desired pious behavior, an effort I inevitably botch by declaring, rather loudly and not very spiritually, "We are supposed to praising God here! Why can't you guys just praise God?!"
Follow that with our attempts to act out the Bible story. "I don't want to be Jesus, I want to be Satan. Why can't Satan just throw Jesus off the top of the temple when he doesn't jump?" "No, Katie, Jesus can't be dressed as a princess." "I don't want to read it, can't we just listen to it on the computer? They read it better than I do anyway." This. of course, leads to a review of our favorite verse, Philippians 2:14, which my youngest son has frequently proclaimed to others with a rather red face and stringent tones, "Hey, Philippians 2:14 says, 'Do everything with out complaining and arguing!' So, stop arguing with me!"
Top it off with one of my little friends bringing me the verse he's chosen to write in his prayer journal today, "Look, Mom, Judges 15:15: 'Then he picked up a donkey's jawbone and killed 10,000 men.' See my picture? Here's Samson holding the jawbone and these are all the dead bodies. Look at the expression on that guy's face!" Sigh.
All of this often results in me sitting for long periods with my face buried in my hands, wondering why on earth I bother, and praying for the grace to keep on. But then, there are those rare moments, like several days ago when one son prayed, "Lord, please take this rain and send it to Texas; we don't really need it, and they're having a terrible drought." Or this morning, when, after several brawls across the carpet, three sincere young voices mingled briefly with my own, loudly exulting, "You are holy, holy, holy! Jesus you are! Jesus you are!" And suddenly, the question on their lips isn't, "Now, can we watch that funny video of the drunk guy that Aunt Amy showed us?" But, rather, "Mommy, why are you crying?"