By Becky Eminger
It was never my plan to hope and pray that my children would be Christmas and Easter church attenders, or "C & E’s," as they are sometimes called. And yet, as we prepare for Advent, this is indeed my prayer. I am as surprised by this as anyone! Sure, they could hear the Gospel anytime, but they do not make the time or effort. But at Christmas and Easter, an opportunity opens for many to step into God’s house, His love, and His redemptive Gospel.
I had never heard of the term "C & E" until a few years ago. In a planning meeting for upcoming church events at our former church, one of the staff members made the offhand remark that we would need to plan for the C & E’s showing up. This was said with sneer and a roll of the eyes.
I had to ask what C & E meant. The person replied, “You know, the people who only bother to show up on Christmas and Easter.”
Ah. It appeared C & E’s were nowhere as good as regular church attendees. I did not give this concept much thought, nor did I bother to question or defend the C & E’s in our church.
My husband and I never thought our children would leave the church. We had them baptized shortly after birth, went with them to church and Sunday School each Sunday, held family devotions, read Bible lessons, prayed with them, and sent them to Lutheran day school. It never occurred to us they would leave the church altogether.
But they did leave. There are reasons or excuses, depending on your viewpoint. None of that matters much; only the consequences of their choice matters.
Is it because we want the warm, fuzzy feelings of being together in church? Do we want to give off the image of being the perfect, happy family?
"So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
Our kids, and all C & E’s, need to hear God’s truth. The Holy Spirit can rekindle their faith in the Triune God. Like the bleeding woman whose faith led her to touch the fringe of Jesus’ garment, we trust that hearing the Gospel at Christmas has incomprehensible power.
Isaiah 55:10-11 tells us:
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
so, we pray, not only for our beloved children and grandchildren, but for all
the C & E’s who will be in church, who will be bathed in the saving words
of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We pray fervently that their hearts be open,
that their faith be restored.
"First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time."
the way, our kids, along with all who have fallen away, are every bit as
precious to God as the regular church attenders. God desires for them to be
saved. If you are concerned for your own loved ones, take heart. God knows and
is delighted to hear our prayers.
Amen, may it be so!
Now retired, she has an AA in education from CUAA and a BA in Family Life Education from Spring Arbor University. Her interests include writing articles and fiction, and creating house and pet portraits in watercolor and colored pencil. Becky and her husband are members of St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Spring Lake, MI.
Well written; well said. Let us continue to pray.ReplyDelete
Nicely done. Your comments are not only applicable to our children and relatives, but also to our friends.ReplyDelete
This year many friends and some family were either not able to or unwilling to attend church during a pandemic. It is my prayer that families will be able to worship again together for Christmas and realize what they missed and come back to the church.ReplyDelete
Beautifully written! I join you in prayer.ReplyDelete