Christ and His Church
God uses several images to describe the Church, which are models that provide images for our marriages (Eph. 5:22-33), the parent-child relationship (Gal 3:26), and the whole household (1 Tim. 3:15). Just as the Body of Christ―the Church―is a community of persons with diverse functions that inevitably produce a culture (1 Cor. 12:12-14), so too is the nuclear family, which is an outpost or extension of the Church. Therefore, we begin the first day of each week gathered together as the household of God in preparation for life.
We should think if the Lord's Day worship as practice for life; it provides a blueprint―an image―of how we are to live. We are not simply "doing the liturgy," we are learning to "live the liturgy." [NOTE: every church has a liturgy (i.e., order), and that liturgy does ultimately get lived out.] We have learned to come when God calls us and to listen to Him when He speaks. We have learned to respond with gratitude and thankfulness in our hearts. We have practiced prayer and the confession of our sins, and been reminded of His gracious pardon and absolution. We have the privilege of giving cheerfully and of offering up songs of praise. We have learned to receive instruction through the Word preached, and to remember our confession of what we believe. This all culminates in a gathering around the family Table in communion. After we have practiced, we are sent out (with God's benediction), to go to our homes and do it all over again every day of the week.
A stronger self-conscious awareness of the fact that what we are doing at church should impact what we are doing at home. The Body of Christ is not a slice of the pie―it is the pie―and the family is a slice of that pie. Even within our daily family routines, we are never separated from Christ. Our cooking, eating and drinking; our conversations, labors and love-making; our finances, childrearing, discipline and singing; our resting, playing and hospitality; our praying, reading Scripture and worshiping, are all to be manifestations of the culture of Christ. Not one square inch is to be void of Him.
Thus, it is in this daily context that we take the lessons [the theology, doctrine and exhortations] of the church back to our homes where we actually apply what we have learned. The gospel does not stop with a proclamation to the lost; it continues to speak to those who heard its initial call; it continues to be good news for us. As the apostle Paul puts it―as it pertains to our families―we are to "bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord" (Eph. 6:4). There should be a self-conscious oozing out of love for God, and instruction from the Word of God, omnipresent in our families:
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.