Tom Brokaw wrote the book, The Greatest Generation, celebrating the generation that fought and won the Great War. They came home from the war and laid the foundations for our nation’s infrastructure, economy, families and churches. They married in record numbers and gave birth to prosperity.
However, like a seventy-year old bridge, society has developed cracks in places once heralded with strength. Faith practices, for example, are eroding. By and large people pray less, read the Bible less, give to charity less, and attend church less than ever before. The decline in faith values is counter-productive to our society, especially for young families.
Families today are exhausted. Work schedules, overtime, sports schedules, extended family commitments, blended family commitments, and endless projects fill every hour of every day. Families are going 100(mph)/24/7. And what was once a first day of the week Sabbath (Sunday) and a mid-week Sabbath (Wednesday) are disrupted with more, more, more things to do.
it’s not that church is an end all; God is, but not a singular event or worship service. The point is missing time with God is missing a deeply significant rest. Jesus said, “Come to me and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Like a deep tissue massage for the body, worship is a healing rest for the soul; it is the opposite of busy, an alternative to anxiousness, and a calmness in times of uncertainty.
To help families find rest and restore the basic foundations of faith First Baptist, like other churches, offers worship every Sunday morning. We also reinvented our Family Life Ministries on Wednesdays beginning September 18th, from 6:30-8pm. If you can’t make Sunday mornings or you want something mid-week to lift your spirits, join us Wednesday evenings. The first half-hour is a compacted but exploratory worship service for the whole family followed with breakout groups for adults and children (Kindergarten to 8th grade) alike.
If you find yourself feeling a little cynical or overcommitted or anxious about work or relationships I would ask to reflect on when you find rest. Typically people have a few ideas in mind – exercise, a favorite TV show, or reading a book – but Jesus is the definition of rest. Even if it is not at First Baptist, make a commitment this fall to schedule church, any church, and protect some time for your family to be a family of faith. A community of faith is one of the bridges our nation depends on.