I have been over processing an interesting conversation which happened recently. I was discussing with a friend, the possibility of Erik going and living in Pennsylvania for awhile to help some farmer friends of ours. Cindy is in need of a kidney transplant and just she and her husband do all the work on their dairy farm. They work harder than anyone I know and the cows don't wait for anyone to be free to milk them. It has to be done. Cindy just found out about this although she knew it was coming someday as her mother had the same condition. She is still in the stunned state and has not put her name on the list. Anyway, Charley and I hope to talk to them about Erik coming out and getting trained so that he could be available to come and be ready to help on short notice.
I mentioned to the friend I was talking to that there is not a church there that Erik could go to easily and his reply was that church only mattered to me and didn't matter much to Erik. Heart drops to stomach. Two things.......he doesn't know Erik as well as he thinks but also this conversation is a serving as a catalyst to be a little more free to invite our friends outside the church to church. In other words perhaps be less polite about 'respecting' their lack of value for the church. I was pretty hurt initially but now see it as an opportunity to point out why the family he loves so much to spend time with are the way they are. As far as I can tell and my prayer of course is it will remain this way, my children would not have it any other way but to be in attendance at the many opportunities there are to partake in God's good gifts. I guess I take this for granted more than I should. Indiana University has NOT drawn my daughter dear away from the church but rather Christ remains central in her life and He is faithful in sustaining her in any challenges which have come her way.
I suppose the friend is correct in that it is typical for the church to be more important to the mom than the kids and the children are 'drug' to church. I don't have this problem, and I am very thankful for the faithful pastors God has provided for us and our family to teach and confess God's word to them and the importance they put in the opportunities given to receive the Lord's supper as well. The kids 'get it' and it is part of their life every day as it should be. Our prayer is they will find faithful spouses to continue the Word of God being as first as we poor miserable sinners can muster. So as we celebrate America's Thanksgiving I personally will stare at my children and thank God for His faithfulness to our family and His forgiveness of Sins. Charley and I have much to be thankful in this regard. And........I will continue to love my neighbor and not be pissed off at his comments but rather forgive and look for opportunity to help him understand without personally being defensive.
As I was was finishing up the apple pie Erik helped me with just now, I hurt my brain some more thinking about what exactly is different about Emmaus. At Emmaus there is a correct understanding that (duh) every individuals faith and life is THEIR faith and life. Each individual's confession of faith is important and emphasized no matter how old or young they are. Catechesis is for life and the emphasis is not just for those who have been 'confirmed' but also for the very youngest on up to our wonderful elders in the church. Parents teach their children why we do what we do in faith as best they can but the pastor especially communicates this to each child, youth, parent, grandparent and the same attention is given to each individual. The words confession of sins, forgiveness of sins, confession of faith are for ALL ages instead of categorized by age and maturity or lack there of. (rambling now) I have never heard my pastor categorize the people of the church as being able to 'handle or understand' this or that and each individuals faith and life IS because Jesus is and not because of what grade they are in. But.....isn't the way it should be???? So I am thankful for the Shephards given to our family who do not sugar coat our faith and decide for me that my children 'can't handle' sin, death and the grave or putting it right on the line that Jesus is EVERYTHING and in ALL they do. Thank you Pastor and Asst. Pastor for what you do!