Today the writer tells us of the importance of passing on the faith to the next generation. Some in the more pessimistic camp would say that Christianity is one or two generations from extinction. As I look at my kids, I am more optimistic. I hope I feel the same when one day I would be blessed with grand kids.
As we look at Deuteromy 11 today, we see the primary way the Jewish people were given to pass on the faith that was given to them. You notice that the first place of faith formation is in the home. And the primary tool is God's word. You see the intentionality of making God's word at the center of all they do. They even go as far as to tie the scripture to their hands and forehead. How would you forget that?
But besides that it also says that the discussion of the bible should be part of each part of the day. When you sit at home, and when you walk on the road,and when you lie down and get up. And as a testimony to the people outside of your home, they are to write them on their door frames and gates of their homes. As you can see, incorporating God's Word was meant to be a way of life that permeated every aspect of the family. For me I am happy if I can read the bible and pray with my kids once a day.
And there is a promise attached to these commands. It says, "so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land The Lord swore to your ancestors." What does this promise say? The key to living a fruitful and prosperous life is with the teaching of the scripture as the norm and rule of your life. Simply put, when making decisions in your life and in your home, where do you go to first? Human wisdom or what the world might say? The last time I checked the bible says quite a bit about how to raise your kids and pass on the faith you hold so dear. And I guess it starts with our own faith. Do we live our lives according to the truth? Of course we won't be perfect, but in those moments we can teach what it means to confess our sins to God and receive forgiveness through what God has done for us in Christ.
Here might be a practical way to incorporate the bible and prayer into your nightly ritual. We have called it "Faith 5" See this link for more info. Www.faithink.com
Basically this is what Faith5 is:
1. Share "highs" and "lows" from your day.
2. Read one or two verses from the scripture.
3 Talk about how what you shared might relate to the reading
4. Pray thanking God for the high's and praying for each other's low, using the verses if appropriate.
5. Bless your child in God's name, reminding them that they are child of God marked by the cross of Christ and sealed by the Holy Spirit forever. You may mark each other with the sign of the cross with these words. (By the way it it cool when your kids mark you with the sign of the cross).
Helpfully this will help you to pass on faith and abundant life to your children and grandchildren. Amen.
18 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, 21 so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.