Church at the Kitchen Table – Simple Steps!

Posted by on Mar 18, 2020 in A Community, A Story, Blog, God Cards, Story Cards | 0 comments

My daughter, Maya Hagan, just wrote some words this week entitled “Uncharted Territory,” and I think that we would all agree the spread of the coronavirus in the details of our days is certainly a place we have never been. In this place, there could be fear and possibly some frustrations. I know that for the three young people living in my home as well as Ron and I we are experiencing a myriad of fears and frustrations. In fact, we made a list of them on Sunday as we were having church around our kitchen table.

It was important to give everyone a chance to share some words and explain their thoughts. With Maya and Ada being seniors in high school, they are truly mourning a senior year that is perhaps cut short with all of the expected activities, and for Carson, he had just begun his baseball season, first year on Varsity and experiencing the momentum of great coaches and a team just beginning to gel. Maya and Ada had one last SAT scheduled for March just to see if they could get a few more points to improve their scholarship monies for Texas Tech. The weekend before this all started, they had found the perfect Prom dress and now wondering if they will even wear it at all. Carson had interviews planned for potential internships for next year and now unsure what the steps will be for those. The struggle is real.

To help our people navigate those fears and frustrations, we got out another piece of purple paper and started our 2nd list – our Response. The question now was this: in light of these fears and frustrations, what do we do in response? What is a verse in the Bible or a story that comes to mind that may have something to say to us? Maybe there is an experience in your life that you can draw upon to give you strength or perspective? Maybe someone else and something that they have taught you? What about a God card or a Story card? What do we have in our arsenal to combat this situation in our life?

It was rich to flood the page with thoughts. Carson quickly said: “Jeremiah 29:11.” Maya mentioned her experience of getting her wisdom teeth out just the week before and her decision to choose joy in spite of the pain. Ada thought of the God card – Medicine. She also mentioned a song that had been on her mind that might have some encouragement for us called “Sinking Deep.” Ron brought up the Battle of Jericho in Joshua 6 of the Bible, and I mentioned Grampy that had survived the Great Depression and World War II, and he was already scheduled to come for dinner that night. I knew that he would have some words of strength and wisdom for us. And so the list was created – possible places for us to roam to get some answers, some strength and a way forward.

So, for the next 10 minutes, we all chose something from the list to study in order to bring something back to share. What did the song say? What is the verse on the God card that spoke to you? What is significant about that Bible Story for our situation right now? We just all took some paper and made some notes to share.

Then, we came back together and talked.

Carson looked up Psalm 34:19-20 from the God card – Gets the Knot Out. He shared Father’s promise of deliverance in this trouble we are facing.

Ada chose the God card – Medicine and focused on two verses that got her attention and specifically the word, healing. We talked about the significance of the two verses, one from the Old Testament prophecy in Malachi and then the book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible and the last chapter. He promises healing, but we also talked about the truth that healing sometimes does not mean bringing about the circumstances that we want.

Maya chose Romans 8 in The Message. She wrote out the verses but added her thoughts in parentheses as she wrote.

I chose to look in the Battle of Jericho and that Father’s presence was the center of their focus with the Ark of the Covenant as well as his promise too of deliverance. In this story, we also see the Israelites called to action; they had a part to play! And so do we – just spending time here in God’s words and truth together is our part in the “advancing.”

Ron looked into 1 John 4:18 as well as Romans 5. He found one of our favorite phrases in the Bible – BUT GOD! He also chronicled all our thoughts.

You will also notice on the family board picture a baggy of yellow scraps of paper. This too is part of the story of church on Sunday that we don’t want you to miss. In the midst of great conversation, Carson found a letter opener in the marker basket and began experimenting with the best way to shred paper. There were stops and starts in our great convo. There were moments that I was sure we were about to visit the ER from the letter opener gone awry. There was a lively debate on idols and if the baseball and the prom dress were an idol or just something that we enjoy.

After we all shared, we ended church with some prayer – giving our words back to Father as well as listening to the song “Sinking Deep” that Ada mentioned at the beginning by Hillsong. It is certainly a time to “lean into his love” asking Father to remove our fear as we draw close.

There is more for our conversation through the week – more verses to uncover, a Story card to digest, a dinner with Grampy that will surely give us some encouragement and steps to keep taking. From our family to yours, we walk in “uncharted territory,” but walking we certainly do. Together, hand in hand. As you continue to have words around your kitchen tables, perhaps our steps can be an encouragement to you.

Some simple steps to combat the coronavirus . . .

Step 1: Get some paper, markers, and your Bibles and gather around your kitchen table.
Step 2: Make a list of your fears and frustrations as a family – everybody sharing and giving time and acceptance for whatever is shared.
Step 3: Make another list of possible responses – what are some verses that come to mind? A Bible story that might have something to say? An experience that you have faced? Maybe someone that you know might have some wisdom for your family? Maybe no verses come to mind, but a few words like “strength or peace” that you could then look up in the concordance for some truth. (A concordance is a cool place in the back of your Bible full of topics and verses that mention that topic.)
Step 4: Everybody pick something and spend around 5-10 minutes on your own looking into that idea. You could write it out on a piece of paper, draw a picture to describe it, look up the song and print it out, etc. Just create something that would help you share that verse, story, song or situation to the group.

Step 5: Share what you found, what you drew, what you discovered. What was your verse? What did you draw? Why was it important to you? How does this help to face the fears and frustrations?
Step 6: Last, pray together – using the words from the conversation, ask Father to strengthen and help you in the days to come.

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