I’m going to have to get a new coffee maker.
When we got married, the only thing that I said I wanted from any of the wedding showers was a coffee maker that I could program so my coffee was ready when I got up in the morning. 34 years ago that was a novel idea!
Over the years I have worn out several. When the last one died Anita said that she heard that those that grind the coffee are better, and so that is what we got. Little did we know that when the grinder started up at 6:10 it sounded like a 747 taking flight! But the coffee was good! And I liked it!
But then the grinder quit working. Missing the sound of the jet engines in the kitchen was dealt with by going back to having ground coffee. I liked my coffee pot!
But recently a new problem has begun. The coffee will brew as it is programed to do, but then, it cuts off. Not a problem if you are downstairs at 6:15 because you can just go over and turn it “On.” But if you sleep late, say to 6:45 you come downstairs to a tepid cup of coffee.
It isn’t cold, not like those nights when the power has gone out and the coffee was brewed at 12:00 and sat there all night long, but not hot. In fact, it is just past warm. It is like the coffee that has sat for 30 minutes and is no longer drinkable, but not really throw-outable!
I wonder if that is what has happened to the faith of the dones. It isn’t that they don’t have any faith. It isn’t that they have rejected faith. It isn’t that they don’t really appreciate it. It is just that it has become so tepid as to become undrinkable.
Maybe they are feeling the way Jesus felt when he looked at the church at Laodicea. “Because you are neither hot nor cold, just tepid, I will spit you out of my mouth.”
Maybe we just need a new coffee maker!
Sunday I confessed that I need to clean off my desk!
It is amazing that in the midst of all that I was able to find a copy of The Christian Century with a quote that worked so well to kick off our Giving Hope Campaign. But the whole story is that what really caught my eye, what kept me from just throwing the magazine away without opening it was the cover story, “Family Affair: Learning Faith Together.”
It didn’t make the sermon, but the idea of the article is so great! Too often families fall into the trap of thinking that schools bear the responsibility of teaching our children to read; the soccer coach has the task of teaching them to head the ball, and the church has the burden of leading them to faith. That is a relatively new idea! For centuries we knew that home is where the most learning happens. It is true when it comes to homework; and it is even more true when it comes to faith.
But many of us–ministers included–have no idea how to do that? How do we have “family devotions?” How do we answer the “where are the dinosaurs?” questions? What should we do?
That is where Rich Melheim comes in! He has a wonderful approach to helping families be a place of faith sharing. He calls it Faith 5. A rather simple process that only takes a few minutes every day. He says:
I am asking parents and kids to commit themselves to five minutes a night of simple faith encounters. Families are asked to drop what they’re doing as soon as the first kid is ready for bed and walk through these five steps: 1) share your highs and lows of the day; 2) read a verse of scripture from Sunday’s preaching or teaching text; 3) talk about how the highs and lows of the day relate to the scripture (is God actually saying something to you?); 4) pray for one another’s highs and lows; and 5) bless one another before turning out the lights on the day.
I really like this idea! What was the best and worst thing that happened today? Remember this verse that we heard on Sunday at church? What might God be saying to us today? Pray for each other and assure our children of our blessing, our best wishes for their lives.
What kind of hope might that give our families? What kind of hope might that give our world?
Give it a try and let’s see what happens!