Thursday, June 27, 2013
Download MP3 (right click to save)
Did you ever do the bumper cars at the carnival? Our family loves bumper cars! When you first get in the bumper car, you start at approximately the same place. But when you step on the pedal, you take off in about ten different directions and occasionally bump into each other. That was a description of our family when we were all still living under one roof. A description of yours maybe, too? You know, a bumper car family! See, you start out at the same place in the morning, you step on the gas pedal, and off we would go in five different directions, and every once in a while we would just happen to bump into each other.
In our world today it is so easy to let families just fly apart. And as the kids get older and mom and dad get busier and busier and we need to work more to keep up our standard of living, a lot of times there's less and less time spent together. Without even knowing it, sometimes your family - my family - becomes a group of strangers. And then later on we look back with regret and we say, "If only I could have those years back. Why didn't we spend more time together?" See, every family needs to be together, but it actually takes someone to blow the trumpet to make it happen.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Trumpet on the Wall."
Our word for today from the Word of God is found in the book of Nehemiah chapter 4. I'm going to be reading verses 19 and 20. If you remember a little of your Bible history, you may know that Nehemiah was God's man to lead the people in rebuilding the dilapidated and destroyed walls and gates of Jerusalem. It was a major task. It had pretty much been a mess for about 100 years. It took a lot of major organization, and he was able to mobilize all those people, each with a different assignment. And in 52 days, this small group of people literally rebuilt the walls and gates of the city of Jerusalem.
Listen to part of the plan here as he gives instructions to his work crew. "Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, 'The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall.'" Sounds a lot like the bumper cars syndrome; they all started out in the morning and they all went their separate directions. He says, "Whenever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us."
He said, "In my family of workers we're going to need to get together. And so I'll sound the trumpet, and when I do, come together." Did you know that whenever there is a family that is spread out in their lifestyles like yours and ours, there's got to be one person in the family who plays Nehemiah; someone who insists that the family comes together. Families are pulled apart unless somebody is willing to work at them being together, communicating, hugging each other, touching each other, praying together, keeping in touch with each other's lives. It's like a football team that has to regularly have a huddle. You can't have a family without regular huddles.
So the person who sounds the trumpet is the person in the family who sets a time and a place and makes it happen to make sure that family comes together. If it doesn't, people leave home with dangerous, unmet needs. They don't have the closeness, the intimacy, the encouragement they need, and they'll go looking for it in places they never should.
Now, biblically, this should be dad. In a single-parent family it may have to be mom. But certainly everyone in the family should come when the trumpet is blown. Dinner together, pre-committed days together, family devotions, vacation, prayer time. Don't let your family be every man/every woman for himself or herself. Bring them together! Remember, every family needs that trumpet.