photograph by Nicholas Nixon, MFA Boston
But take care and watch yourselves closely, so as neither to forget the things that your eyes have seen nor to let them slip from your mind all the days of your life; make them known to your children and your children’s children— Deuteronomy 4:9
Make them known to your children. Make the ways of the Lord-the ways of life-known to your children. As we begin a new school year, the Hebrew Scripture reading for Sunday tells of the end of Moses’ life and the beginning of the life of promise for the children of Israel on the other side of the Jordan. Moses cannot cross over. He belongs to the traveling generation. The new generation, the pioneer generation, will cross over and do new things. They will remember old ways and plant them in the promised land. They will carry the gift of the law with them and become known as the people of God, because they are the stewards of God’s law.Teach your children. Their spirits need to be fed with the law of love and the bread of life. If they don’t learn the ways of the Lord God in Christ Jesus they will certainly learn other ways from other sources. Here is a bit of a message that I wrote earlier today to our high school students about staying involved in church after confirmation.
…You might think of other ways to contribute to the life of the community. You are now adult members of the church and you should look for ways to be involved in and to contribute to the life and growth of the community, just as the older adults do. However, my main appeal to you to stay involved is that the rest of us need you. The community needs you more than you know. If you just hang out, that’s fine with me. The older folks—like your pastor—need to see your young faces. We need your questions, your strong backs, your happiness and your talents. We need to hear your voices and your laughter. We need your input and your perspectives on life. The younger children need you as role models. They look up to you. When they see you there, they can better imagine what it will be like to be older. You are beloved and important members of the community. I hope you will continue to be involved at Peace.
We teach the spiritual secrets and the ways of life contained in our church by regular repetition, the same way an athletic skill, a craft, an art, any other kind of capacity is learned. As adults it is our responsibility to let the grace of our faith tradition get into our children’s lives.
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