For many people, this COVID-19 crisis is starting to slow their lives down. While we’re not in a total shut-down here in Tasmania yet, it might happen soon. Certainly elsewhere in the world it already has. In many places, only essential workers are allowed to leave their homes. People are being forced to stay home and slow down. You might look at that as a negative thing, but there’s also an opportunity here.
I’m thinking especially of those busy parents, and especially fathers, who used to say they didn’t have time for family worship. Now, suddenly, you have the time. You have plenty of time. You’re at home, your kids are at home, so what reason could there be not to worship God together as a family?
It’s not hard to get started. Find a set time each day. Read the Bible with your family. Discuss the Bible reading. A great resource to help with that is the Family Worship Bible Guide. Teach your children using a trusty catechism like the Heidelberg or the Westminster Shorter. For that, our family has been using Starr Meade’s Training Hearts, Teaching Minds for nearly 20 years. I can’t recommend it enough. Then sing together. Sing psalms and hymns — try to sing the same psalms and hymns that you’d sing in public worship. This helps to reinforce the connection between your home and your church. Finally, there’s prayer. In our family, we each take turns praying. Our children started doing this from about the age of 4. They learn to pray (and lead in prayer) by doing it.
My prayer is that if you haven’t been doing regular daily family worship, you’ll start now while you have the time and energy. Hopefully you’ll see the huge benefits that come from it — the most important of all being that your children are being taught as disciples of Jesus. Then maybe, just maybe, when this all passes over and life gets back to normal, you’ll continue to make family worship a priority every day. It’ll become your new normal.