Thursday, May 5, 2011

Worship on Vacation

Scottish Directory for Family Worship:

XIV. When persons of divers families are brought together by Divine Providence, being abroad upon their particular vocations, or any necessary occasions; as they would have the Lord their God with them whithersoever they go, they ought to walk with God, and not neglect the duties of prayer and thanksgiving, but take care that the same be performed by such as the company shall judge fittest. And that they likewise take heed that no corrupt communication proceed out of their mouths, but that which is good, to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace to the hearers.

Douglas Comin, Returning to the Family Altar: A Commentary and Study Guide on the Directory for Family Worship, pp. 50-51:

Do your devotional habits change when you are travelling or on holiday? It is not uncommon for families to set aside their regular patters or routines when they are outside of their ordinary surroundings. But why should this be? Does the Lord deserve less honour when business or recreation call us away from our homes? Do we have less need of His daily provision of grace? Do His commandments include a proviso that they cease to apply to our lives when we are away from our dwellings? The authors of the Directory saw the need to admonish families who found themselves "abroad upon their particular vocations, or any necessary occasions" not to neglect their spiritual duties. It is hypocrisy to desire the Lord's blessing upon our travels and activities, while ignoring Him and neglecting His worship until we return home.

The primary focus of this section of the Directory is upon the providential meeting of several Christian families who happen to be in the same place while travelling away from home. The principles governing the conduct of such families are somewhat different from those given previously. The unexpected nature of a chance meeting of Christian families under such circumstances put their joining together for worship in a different light than if they had set out to form a clique within the bounds of their home church. They should, therefore, thank God for His provision upon their journey and purpose to unite for prayer and thanksgiving, under the leadership of whomever is judged fittest by the whole company. Yet they should take care that their conversations are designed to edify and administer grace to one another.

Whether at home or abroad, public worship and the privileges of private and family devotions will be the first concern and the most fervent desire of those who truly walk with God. They will count nothing more grievous than to be separated from the fellowship of the saints by necessary travels. They will desire to teach their children that the Lord never ceases to watch over His saints, and the saints never cease to depend upon or delight in His daily blessings. Children who are raised in a home where family worship is thus loved and consistently maintained will carry the legacy of household devotion with them when they are blessed with families of their own. They will cherish the gathering together of God's people and they will seek out godly preachers to instruct and encourage them in their faith. "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).

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