One Extra Empty Chair

We started having a family Bible study on Thursday nights when our youngest son was two or three years old. Then when our kids got a little older, we changed the day from Thursday to Saturday. So, if we all are in town, we always do our family Bible study on Saturday morning with a tasty breakfast which is my second favorite part of our Bible study. Why? Well, I no more cook on Saturdays. The rest of the Banko’s do. Is that a blessing or what!

Anyways, so when we started our Bible study, it was very hard to calm our kids down. When we try to tell them about Abraham and Sara or David and Goliath, they fight for a crayon or somebody wants to go to the restroom. It was very frustrating especially for me who tends to often struggle with perfectionism.

Then one day my husband and I were trying to teach them about the presence of God. And as an example, I told them about one preacher who used to put one extra empty chair at his church to stress the fact that God’s presence is among the whole congregation (if I’m not mistaken, it is Pastor Cho). My little one understood it well and was very excited. Looking at his excited face, I wanted to take his excitement to the next level and said, “Why don’t we put one extra chair here that represents the presence of Jesus?”

Oh, was he excited! He jumped off of his seat and ran to get a chair. All of us were excited.

From that day on, whenever we gather around the table to do our family Bible study, there is always one extra empty chair among us that reminds us all of the presence of Jesus.

God always amazes us how He honors our childlike faith and shows up at our Bible study! He uses our small faith and warms our hearts with His marvelous presence.

Jesus said, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:20)

I am not suggesting here that you put an extra empty chair in your gathering, I mean it won’t hurt if you do that as long as you know why you do it, but I’m just trying to say this: Let’s encourage one another to take God at His Word. If God said He would be present among us, He will be whether we feel His presence or not. ///