I noticed several things were "missing" from our last church family Get-Together....
Church family get-togethers are great tools to allow church members to get to know one another better. And obviously, they provide occasions for young and old alike to share food, fun, and fellowship. But at the last one the Southside church family had, there were several things that were noticeably missing that are typical of large gatherings of people lasting all day…..
There was no foul language. “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth…” (Eph.4:29) There was a lot of laughter- young and old. There were prayers offered. There were spiritual songs of praise that were lifted up. There were brothers and sisters in Christ enjoying conversing with one another. There were kids laughing and yelling and being kids. But not single curse word was heard. Funny, huh?
There were no dirty jokes or suggestive party games. “and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.” (Eph.5:4) Groups of men were relatively alone for an hour or so- not one ugly joke was told. They kidded and teased each other over several games of horseshoes, but not a single vulgar story or joke was told. The games that were played could be enjoyed without worry about offending anyone. There was nothing “off color” or suggestive by which to be offended. There didn’t have to be to have fun!
There was no alcohol. “For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousals, drinking parties and abominable idolatries. And in all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excess of dissipation…” (1Pet.4:3-4). Surely a gathering of so sixty plus people couldn’t have a really good time all day without any beer! Ah but they can and did! This group didn’t need any artificial stimulation to have a great time. So not a single youngster was exposed to the bad example of “adult beverages”. The police were not needed to break up any fights or remove any belligerent participants. And no drunk drivers endangered the lives of everyone on the roads.
There wasn’t immodesty. “Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discretely…” (1Tim.2:9). The men didn’t have to remove their shirts to have fun despite the warm temperatures. And the women didn’t parade themselves around half (or whole!) naked. They were there to enjoy each other’s company to have a good time. Amazing! People can be modestly and discretely clothed and still have fun.
There wasn’t any television, video games, or blaring music. Not this are necessarily always sinful- just that they weren’t necessary. We didn’t need T.V. shows showing us how immoral humankind can be. We didn’t blatantly violent video games to entertain us. We didn’t need vulgar lyrics blaring and rattling the windows. We had the beauties of God’s natural creation to “watch”. We had water balloons to with which to “fight”. We had small children laughing and four part harmony singing praises to God and edification to each other to “listen to”.
Yep, there sure were several things “missing” which are common to large gatherings of people. But I don’t think the people who came to this gathering “missed” any of them!
by Philip C. Strong
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