Families accumulate habits like a magnet sweeping over metal shavings. When a baby is born––or a child is adopted––into the family, they immediately begin acclimating to those customs. A wise family should be able to point at their traditions and give a good reason for why they do it. Parents should always be ready to give an explanation of the customs to curious minds, and encourage cheerful participation in family customs. All those mottos, chants, and traditions should reinforce unity and loyalty. But they aren’t the source of the unity.
If you’re new here, you might’ve noticed that we punctuate our songs and prayers with a corporate “Amen.” Let me assure you, it’s deliberate. We want to follow a custom which we see in Scripture (Deu. 27, 1 Ch. 16:36, Neh. 8:6, & Ps. 106:48): “And all the people shall answer and say, Amen.” We continue this family practice by exclaiming hearty “amens” after our sung and spoken prayers.
Amen (אמן) is Hebrew for “truly, certainly, assuredly, so be it.” It was used in the ancient church to affirm agreement and unity in what was just vowed, spoken, sung, or read. We say it together, because the Father has adopted us into His family. We do it heartily, because the Spirit invigorates us to trust the Word. We say it frequently because our service is piled high with sweet promises from our Savior, and we rejoice in each one.
One practical observation for parents of young-un, this is a great way to help them participate. Even one-year–olds can shout out a loud amen, mingling their infant voices with the rest of the saints as we affirm what our Lord has said to us and our corporate agreement in what we have petitioned Him for.
So, instead of saying “Amen” to God’s promise of forgiveness, we’ve said “Amen” to the retribution of envy, the vengeance of pride, and the indulgence of lust. Instead of saying “Amen” to the praise we should render to Christ, we’ve said “Amen” to our self-love, self-glory, and self-righteousness. Instead of saying “Amen” because we confess that we’re God’s people, we’ve said “Amen” to the creeds and confessions of worldly men. So let us repent of all our sinful “Amens”, and receive grace to turn from all the false gospels, saying “Amen” to the true Gospel that Christ alone is King.