After learning about how awesome God is, I wanted to move to respecting God’s sanctuary, as in the verse, “Have reverence for my sanctuary…” Leviticus 19:30. But my beliefs about physical church buildings have changed through the years – going from an extreme where the altar is a holy place that only a priest can walk behind, to almost the other extreme where it is not an actual place that is holy – it is what happens there that makes it a place to be respected.
We meet in what many would consider a very large home church – very large because there are almost 300 people meeting together, and we actually do meet in a home – a home with a very large meeting room added on to it. This meeting room is not only the place where we pray and worship the Lord, but it is also the place where we fellowship together over lunch and where the kids run around to get their energy out after being cooped up in their Sunday school class. How can I reconcile the idea for Elias that the place where the boys are encouraged to be kids is also the place that at times there needs to be respect and reverence?
Please know that I am not talking about respect for property or even others’ beliefs about their church buildings. I want my children to fully respect property, a building, a place – and that comes as I correct and train my children. But I want to get to the heart belief – what makes a place (such as our meeting room) so different two hours after a time of prayer and worship?
Where two or three people meet together in my name, I am there with them. Matthew 18:20 (NIrV) The present spirit of God is what makes a place different!
I prepared a whole bunch of paper dolls (paper people, paper chains, people chains – Josh called them all kinds of things last night as I was cutting them out. And did you know he didn’t know how to cut out paper dolls?! He does now!) before the boys were up – they wouldn’t have lasted while I cut out all the chains.
And then I created a little poster for our new memory verse:
And then Elias and I talked about where people meet together in God’s name… church, Sunday school, Bible studies, prayer times, music class, and even when we pray together at meal times and bed times. As we talked, he glued people to a separate piece of paper – we have 6 groups of people for the 6 times we talked about – I thought that was kind of cool!
We’ll continue to talk about this, and I have a couple more crafty ideas up my sleeve to try to illustrate this verse. I will also be trying (or rather, continuing) to impress upon the boys the need for quiet and respect while they are with us in our prayer and worship time.
I’m excited because now Elias knows that God is there when there are even 2 or 3 people coming together in His name! Why didn’t I think about teaching him this before? This seems like something he was able to grasp right away…
How do you teach your children about respecting the place/time that you meet for worship?