I was blessed to grow up in a family that made it a priority to gather as a family and read the word of God together. Additionally it was a frequent occurrence that when I ate dinner at friend’s home we were not excused from the table until the father had read a little from the bible and maybe a devotional thought from a Table Talk or Our Daily Bread. It was simple and it was a normal part of my growing up years.
The older I get, the more I realize that my “normal” is sadly an abnormal experience for those of my generation and younger. I was delighted, then, to review Jason Helopolous’ book A Neglected Grace in which he offers, first a defense of the need for family worship, then a helpful chapter on what family worship is not, and finally some encouragement and direction on how to begin a regular family worship.
Helopolous’ style is encouraging and uplifting, offering hope rather than condemnation, for those who have no idea what or where or how to begin implementing family worship. His defense of family worship is gracious and founded in scripture and he is very careful not to cross the line into equating his preferences in form to obedience of principle.
While I was reading the book for review, our family was gathered for family worship, and the snickerdoodle was sitting on my lap. As Jonathan read Genesis 6:14: “. . . And cover it inside and out with pitch.” the snickerdoodle looked at me, making a pinching motion with her fingers. “Pinch?” she asked quizzically, “Why Noah pinch?” We laughed, and stopped to explain the concept of pitch, but I was reminded of Jason Helopolous’ admonition in the book that we should use the very words of scripture with our children. The snickerdoodle had proven that even in the wiggles and squirms and the seeming in attentiveness, the words of God were sinking in and she was comprehending enough that pinching an ark had seemed strange.
A Neglected Grace is a much needed book, written with grace, and understanding. I highly recommend it.
I received no compensation for this post. I was provided a paperback and electronic edition for the purpose of review. I was not required to provide a positive one. I keep a disclosure statement here.