Skip to main content

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.


Popular posts from this blog

Death Will Lose it's Sting

Our reading from the Narrative Lectionary this week is 1 Corinthians 15:51-57. In these verses, Paul reveals a mystery, that in the end some will be transformed, given a new body, instead of facing death.  In other words death is not one of life's two certain terms.  It seems taxes may be the only guarantee.   " this world nothing can be said to be certain, except  death and taxes ." - Benjamin Franklin. Ok, all jokes aside, these verses are difficult to read.  Paul looks forward to a time when death will have no victory, it will have lost its sting.  But today, we are in the middle of a pandemic, surrounded by death.  Many are scared for their lives, or their loved ones, and too many have already been lost.  Death does not seem to have lost its sting at all, it feels as if it is closing in. When I worked in wilderness therapy I remember holding a child who was desperately trying to kill himself.  We cried together as he struggled to end it, and I struggled

Fool for Christ

Our reading from the Narrative Lectionary this week is 2 Corinthians 5.  Verse 13 stood out to me. If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. - 2 Corinthians 5:13a (NLT) John Wimber, the founder of the Vineyard churches did a famous sermon called "I am a fool for Christ, whose fool are you?".  Reading this week's text reminded me of this wonderful sermon.  Wimber's sermon reminds us that, as christians, we are called to something truly radical.  The christian walk is strange and counter cultural.  Jesus once explained this to his disciples in John 15 "If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. You don't belong to this world, I have chosen you out of it.  That is why the world hates you."   Peter, in a letter to the church, later referred to all of us as strangers just passing through this world.   Do you feel like a stranger?  Do you feel like the world hates you?  Are you a fool for Christ? Here is the thing, you are going t

Prayer Part 2 of 4

  This is the second of four weeks the narrative lectionary is focusing on the Lord's Prayer as found in Luke 11:2-4.  This week we are focusing on the second section: "Give us this day our daily bread." At the time and place that Jesus said this, bread was the center of every meal.  To his people, it had a long history of being a symbol for God's provision.  It was often used to refer to any meal or food, and in this case Jesus expands it to represent all of our needs.   A long time ago, in a place that had been ravaged with war, orphanages were overwhelmed with children.  In one of the facilities, the relief workers noted that the children had trouble falling asleep each night.  They struggled with anxiety, wondering if they would have food for the next day.  Their lack of sleep led to more anxiety and a troubling downward spiral of their mental and physical health.  In an effort to meet their needs the workers tried something new one night.  As they tucked each chi