Closing in on Thanksgiving Day and today I am thankful that I can worship with my family.
Over the past 15 years I’ve been a pastor in three Lutheran churches. I can count on two hands the opportunities I’ve had during that time to actually sit in a pew with my family to worship.
That bugs me because I’ve exhorted families to worship together – and I’ve exhorted dads to worship with their wife and kids whenever possible – while sitting 25 yards from my own family (at best) and not having them in church at all (at worst).
The last three months I’ve taken time off from being full-time pastor. While I’ve filled in at two churches, I’ve taken more opportunities to worship with my family – actually sitting in the pew with them.
This morning was one of those times. It was wonderful! I sang hymns with my son sitting next to me. I took communion with another son kneeling next to me. I heard two of my sons sing an anthem with the choir. I stood next to my wife as we greeted other worshipers.
For a husband and father, there is nothing that makes the family and marriage stronger than worshiping and praying together. There can be no reason – not even being a full-time pastor in a church – that a husband and a father doesn’t worship with his family on a regular basis.
And this year, I’m thankful that I have even more time to worship with my wife and sons!