A culture is a complex collection of shared practices, customs, and instincts driven by shared beliefs and enacted and embodied with a similar language, entertainment, food, tools, living and working spaces, games, and rituals. While many different cultures overlap in numerous ways, it takes a certain concentration of these factors for an identifiable culture to emerge.
We are self-consciously working to build a Christian culture here in Moscow, centered on the worship of the Triune God. This means that Lord’s Day worship is our touchstone. Everything we are doing starts here and ultimately returns here. But we want to be clear that this is not just something we do, it is driven by hearts that have been made new. We have been born again. Our hearts are clean, and we have been given a joy that can never be taken away. And so we gather with the saints to praise the name of Jesus, to hear His word, to feast at His table, to offer up our prayers, and to be sent out with His blessing on our heads.
And what are we sent out to do? The first thing we are sent out to do is build houses – households. These are marriages and families for sure, but households can also include close friends, servants, employees, boarders, and others without immediate families. Households are places where we practice the fruitfulness of Christian culture. We practice Christian language, confession and forgiveness, organization, coordination, hospitality, storytelling, and productivity. Households are where people are made – and not just new babies (though it certainly includes that), but the entire formation process – sleeping, playing, correcting, eating, laughing, singing, and more.
And then what? Then we work. We read. We write. We build. We plant. We sweat. We wash. We make. We organize. We shop. We buy. We sell. We help. We teach. We heal. We sing some more.
You can’t fight a culture war without a culture to fight with, and you cannot build a culture without worship at its center. The only question is what will the object of our worship be? What will orient all that we do? We are building households that make people who will live forever. And those people were made to worship the Triune God. So we worship, build, and plant; we feast and we laugh until the earth is full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
Photo by Vance Osterhout on Unsplash
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