for your consideration
We invite them in thinking that perhaps some will accept Him. As children enjoy the annual neighborhood festival some parents bring them back to Sunday school for a time.
They have no objection to church. In fact most parents have been looking for something the family can do together that does not take up too much time. Parents often attend adult Sunday School classes while the children are occupied. Sometimes they even stay after for the morning worship service if they have nothing else to do or nothing planned. It is an enjoyable pivot to lunch.
But their motivation is wrong. Church can never be what ever time is left. It must be a priority because societal customs are strong, with kids sports and parties on weekends and the NFL on Sundays. Over time they attend less regularly and eventually simply cease to come1.
They came for a festival2. And though the Sunday and midweek services are made enjoyable, the festival is not weekly. Christianity is the serious business of life, equipping the sincere for victory in this present world. The church is where we renew our minds continually3.
Perhaps Godís church does not grow from recruitment of those from without but only from the increase of Godly offspring4.
1. 1 John 2:19
A harvest festival is an annual celebration that occurs around the time of the main harvest of a given region. Given the differences in climate and crops around the world, harvest festivals can be found at various times at different places. Harvest festivals typically feature feasting, both family and public, with foods that are drawn from crops that come to maturity around the time of the festival. Ample food and freedom from the necessity to work in the fields are two central features of harvest festivals: eating, merriment, contests, music and romance are common features of harvest festivals around the world.
4.Malachi 2:15 (NIV)
15Has not [the LORD] made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.