Sunday on the Mountain

Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth should change And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; Though its waters roar and foam, Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah. (Psalms 46:2‑3 NASB)

“I Sing the Mighty Power of God, that made the mountains rise.” High on the side of a mountain in Switzerland the morning activity was slow. The weather was iffy but gave the hint of improving later in the day. Our two families were enjoying a holiday of fresh air, mountains, flowers and fellowship. It was our first trip to Switzerland. The children staggered their way down the stairs from their loft bedrooms to the larger living room.

After a breakfast of French Toast, prepared by Phil’s caring hands, we contemplated worshiping the Lord of Salvation. Sunday morning had dawned and our hearts were ready to approach God’s throne of grace. However, a little cleaning was a must.

15716_019I led the way outside for the boys to undergo a cleansing with water. The cabin was provided with water collected from a stream flowing down the mountain. There was no hot water. There was no electricity to heat the water. The hose hanging from the back of the cabin provided clear and cold mountain spring water. The emphasis here was on the cold. Just the process of washing the hair on our heads created a frostbite headache. Rinsing out the soap was an exercise in steady nerves, fast reflexes and pain. My poor hands hurt for about an hour after the refreshing adventure. With a little coaxing the boys were willing to brave the water and removed a layer, or two, of grime.

The girls were the smart ones.  They cordoned off the kitchen where they had access to the wood burning stove. We brought in buckets of water which they turned into hot water. With their luxurious hot water and a little privacy they prepared themselves for the day. The boys remained sequestered in the living room for the duration until the ladies emerged happy and clean. We all agreed that hot water would be the best addition to this gift of a mountain cabin from God. Now that we were all clean it was time for some cleansing by the Word.

During the bath time, except when I was freezing in the water, Phil and I enjoyed worshiping the Lord with song. I played the guitar for songs I knew and Phil played for those he knew. We moved from one song to the next through the chorus book I brought on the trip. When everyone was clean and present Phil suggested we allow the children, and youth, to provide the morning message.

Beginning with our youngest Evan, and working our way up in age, each shared a verse or passage and then their thoughts on the content. We were encouraged. Here were young people freely sharing what God had taught them from His Word. Our hearts were also encouraged by the words they shared. It was an uplifting time for all of us. Their insight into God and his love for them was more than we expected. I guess they did learn something at home and in Bible class.

Next we each shared a prayer request or two from our hearts. These were requests for ministry to or for others. Everyone was willing to open their hearts and desires before God and the family. Finally, we spent a time in intercessory prayer for these and other items which came to mind. You learn a lot about others and family when they pray for things important to them. You discover their dreams, their fears and their loves.

I believe this is a great way to worship the Lord of our salvation. There’s no need to impress someone with Sunday dress. No theological exposition of impressive schooling. Only hearts, touched and molded by God, seeking to know God and praise His name. I must admit I felt as though I had worshiped God more closely and faithfully that morning than all the Sundays of the previous year.

I think we should each take an occasional Sunday morning, afternoon or evening to worship God with close family and friends. There is a close fellowship, a sharing from the heart, a bond which only exists in close family and small quarters. The facade of public worship is stripped away in the familiarity of family. We are not tempted to impress those who already know us. There we can feel free, accepted, and open to worship God without psychoanalysis by a congregation.

We don’t want to forsake gathering together to encourage and strengthen one another through corporate worship and prayer. We are called to this in Scripture. I’ve spent years studying corporate worship and love times of blessing, singing praises, shouting hallelujah and lifting up God’s name with the body of Christ. But, sometimes we gain more strength and encouragement in a small body of Christians.

Sometimes Jesus drew away only with his disciples. There was a time for the crowds and a time for family. It was in those close gatherings the disciples received most of their training. Maybe we need to draw away, sometimes, with the disciples in our own family. Does your family need to grow and know each other better? There is no better place to learn than before God’s throne in praise, prayer and worship.

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