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How do I reach my child with the gospel? - Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Our reading from the Narrative Lectionary for this upcoming Sunday is from Deut. 6:4-9.  As a Family Pastor this is my favorite scripture.  It tells us how to live as parents, and how to reach our children.  It reminds us that faith needs to be integrated into our life, and that our kids pick up the culture we soak them in during their upbringing.  I remind our parents of this scripture every time I do a baptism or a baby dedication.  I translate it like this for them:

" must carry the ways of Jesus close to your heart, and teach them to your children.  You must discuss the ways of Jesus as you go about your daily life, and you must carefully place reminders in your schedule and your homes.  You must see that your children are brought up in the knowledge of God, taught the scriptures, and raised in the church.  You must counsel them, assist them, and love them with all that is in you."

St. Francis of Assisi understood this as the model of how we should reach people with the gospel.  Many people quote him as saying:
"Preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary use words."
But his actual quote if far more nuanced:
"It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching."

May each of us learn to minister to our families by first walking the walk.


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