Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Let’s Get Back to the Altar

Editorial by Kevin Costello

When I was 5 years old, my mother decided to send me to live with my aunt and uncle in Fletcher, N.C., so that I could learn about Jesus and go to a Christian school instead of a public school in New York City.

It was at my aunt and uncle’s home where I first encountered a family altar. Every morning and every evening, the entire family gathered around a little table, not more than two feet high and octagonal in shape, for worship and prayer. It was at this table that I learned my first memory verses. It was at this table that I learned to sing Christian songs and choruses during evening worship. It was at this table that I heard stories of another uncle who lived and worked as a missionary in Liberia, Africa. Every month or so he would send reel-to-reel recordings to the family filled with exciting stories and adventures of what it was like to be a missionary. It was at this table that Christ first instilled a desire in my heart to become a missionary one day. As I prepared to go home each summer, it was at that table that my aunt and uncle challenged me by saying, “When you go back to New York, you’ll be Jesus’ little missionary.”

Many years have passed since then. Last year, my aunt and uncle died a few months apart. As the family gathered to discuss how assets would be distributed, I asked for only one thing. That small, octagonal table. It is now in my home, enabling my family to go back to this special altar.

Do you have an altar in your home? Is there a place where you come apart as a family to meet Jesus? He longs to meet you. He longs to be with you. He covets time with you every morning and every evening. I encourage you to find a spot in your home—perhaps a table or a special corner or place—and make it your family altar. Let’s all get back to the altar.

Kevin Costello serves as treasurer of the Pennsylvania Conference.

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