The Rallying Cry for Generations To Come

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”–Deuteronomy 6:4-9

This verse in Jewish culture is at the heart of Jewish faith and is known as the great Shema. Like the Lord’s Prayer is familiar to Christians, the shema is just as familiar to Jews. A Jewish custom is to take this passage, write it on parchment paper and encase it in the mezuzot; the small boxes on the doorposts of Jewish homes and tefillin: the small boxes worn on the forehead and arms of Jewish people during Jewish morning prayer services. In Jewish culture, this verse is literally being written on the doorposts of their houses and on their gates as well as on their foreheads and their arms.

We don’t walk around with this passage written on our foreheads and our arms. Yet I wonder what the world would look like; what faith would look like if we did. Yesterday one of my colleagues preached his Confirmation sermon about faith and how we aren’t afraid to share our opinions about politics, etc on our Facebook pages. But when it comes to faith, we have a harder time sharing that on our Facebook pages. Why is that anyways?

I have been thinking a lot about the language of faith and today’s youth/young adults. These words from the great Shema are words that I pray more of us live out in our daily lives. They are words that I pray more families and homes will cling to and realize how true they are. The front doors of the church aren’t the actual front doors we walk in and out of to go to church, but are the doors of our homes. Faith begins in the home. Think about the people who have passed on faith and values to you. Who are they? They are, more than likely, parents, family members, and other caring adults who have been there with and for you as you walk and continue to walk along this lifelong journey of faith.

Too often (or rather more often than we care to admit) it seems that we forget the words that we hear in the great Shema. I will be honest. In the congregations I have served, it has been so very hard to watch youth affirm their Baptismal promises, but then to never see them again. (And I am pretty sure this isn’t uncommon; that many of us have experienced this in one way or another) What are we missing? How can we set the bar higher for families? It is my prayer that together we can be allies. We cannot do the job for each other BUT we can support each other and be each other’s cheerleaders.

I don’t claim to have any of the answers, but I have seen the power of the great Shema lived out in congregations and families. I have seen divorced families sit together and learn together. I have seen lively inter-generational conversations take place. I have seen families carry out the baptismal promises they made for their child/children. And in return, I have seen children fully embrace those promises and affirm those promises for themselves at their own Confirmation.

I pray that these words from the Great Shema become our battle cry, our rallying cry for all the generations here and all the generations yet to come. “Write it on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” We might look rather silly walking around with those words encased on our foreheads. But in today’s technological age, there are many places for us to share our faith. Facebook is one of the virtual doorposts for us to share our faith. It seems to me that when faith becomes our everyday language and we aren’t afraid to share our faith, this world and the generations to come will be a much better place.

I don’t know about you but I want better for our youth and young adults. I want them to know what it means to live out the Great Shema in their daily lives and in their homes.

Will you join me in this rallying cry for all of us and for the generations to come?

Linking up with these lovely writers: Anita and Inspire Me Monday; Holly and Testimony Tuesday and Kelly and the RaRa Linkup.


Disclaimer: These are my thoughts and opinions. And are not necessarily the thoughts and opinions of the congregation and community of faith that I serve.

Wednesday Tidbits

Confirmation tonight was fun! I used the smell of popcorn popping to talk about the 4th petition to the Lord’s Prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Then I had them engage in caring conversation, “Is it harder or easier to pray for food etc when you can smell it, see it, etc or when you cant? So fun to watch our mentors/mentees engage and talk to each other. I love that its about teaching them and helping them take faith home!

So many of my friends are having babies! So excited for them. My colleague became a new grandpa last night….their first granddaughter. So precious! What a gift from God!
As many of you my faithful readers know, Im constantly thinking and reflecting on my singleness. Im so ready to find my Mr. Right etc. And as I am at the time in my life when I am so ready and yearn so deeply for these things, I find myself realizing how much harder it is. I am trying to be patient and trust in God but that is so much easier said than done especially when friends are announcing their engagement or talking about their new child. I honestly am so excited for them but find myself holding back some because it is something I yearn so deeply for. Will I ever walk down the aisle? Will I ever be a mom and hold my precious child in my arms? And then I find myself thinking about what if it doesnt happen, then maybe I could adopt etc. I honestly can say I haven’t really thought about that but it is something that has popped into my mind more recently.

So thankful and blessed for the awesome friends and family in my life. I wish I could see more of you more often. Tonight a friend posted about his approval language. I remember so well that day and am so thankful for the people that walked with me etc. I am humbled by what you/they have taught me. You have blessed my life in more ways than I could ever imagine!

Well thats the end of this Wednesday tidbits post. Goodnight friends and faithful readers!!

God Is So Good!

God is so good!
God is so good!
God is so good!

All week we have been interviewing our Confirmands about their faith papers. We have been asking them, “What/Who is the church?” A lot of the times they will say the church is the building but the truth is the church is everywhere that two or three are gathered in God’s holy name! This has become more evident than ever today as Good News has been delivered to a dear friend and colleague. We have been wearing yellow in support of the type of cancer she was diagnosed with. We have been praying constantly since the news was delivered. And then this news today…In the words of another friend, I am utterly speechless! God does hear our prayers especially when so many are praying! I cant even seem to put into words how awesome and awe-some this news is! God truly is good…and amazing! God thank you for bring us hopeful and hope-filled news today!

Thanks Be To God!

Teaching Confirmation

Sometimes I enjoy teaching Confirmation so much, and other times it can be such a task. Today was a great night. I had so much fun teaching my 7th graders and their mentors about the Apostles’ Creed. I played Agapes’ song “I believe.” Just a good night. I hope I can be this excited about teaching all the time. I also hope that I make a difference when I teach. Other than that, not much, enjoying the Peoples Choice Awards which I recorded, then off to bed after reading a little on my Kindle. Such a great Christmas present. I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!!

“Autumnal Eye Candy”, Preaching, and Faith

It is such a beautiful fall day outside today. I almost want to play hookie but must work instead! 🙂 There is something I love about all the seasons. I love watching the leaves change in the fall. So pretty! Hopefully Ill be able to catch some pictures in the coming days to show you my faithful readers. A friend stated that this time of year is like “autumnal eye candy.” I like that description!

In other news, not much is happening. I was suppose to preach this weekend since Pastor is out of town but I just found out this afternoon that I will not be preaching this weekend. No big deal at all but I am a little bit disappointed because it is our 3rd Grade Bible Sunday and the texts for Sunday fit soooooo well! They are all about faith! I also am a little disappointed because I had started my sermon prep work!

These texts about faith have me thinking about how faith is passed on….through caring, trusted relationships. We ask our Confirmation students to write a faith paper. The faith paper asks three questions, “What do I believe?”, “The Church is?” and “My Confirmation means to me?.” It is always so fun to hear their answers.I thought it might be fun to answer these questions for myself especially since my answers will be wayyyy different than what I would have answered 10 plus years ago! Im going to leave the last one off since its been awhile but I feel like I can honestly asnwer the other two.

So what does my faith mean to me or what do I believe etc? My faith is an important part of who I am as a child of God. I believe that God has called me and all of us as God’s beloved children. God wants me to share that love with those that I come in contact with each and every day. I believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross to forgive me of all my sins. We are all both saint and sinner! I believe that God is the source of all creation. I believe that God walks with me in both the ups and downs of life. God is the king of kings and lord of Lords. I believe in the Triune God; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Without my faith, I truly don’t believe that I could get through each and every day of my life!

What is church? Yes, I work at a church but the church is so much more than a building. “Where two or three are gathered in Christ’s holy name” is where church happens. Church is embodied through the caring, trusted relationships that are a part of this community of faith. Church takes place when we collect cans of food for the local pantry. Church takes place when I gather with my brothers and sisters in Christ wherever that may be! Church is in so many ways the hands and feet of Christ for me!

Well there are my answers to the question. Hope you all are enjoying a beautiful fall day wherever you are as well!