And you shall tell your son in that day, saying, ‘This is done because of what the LORD did for me when I came up out of Egypt’.- Exodus 13:8
According to Wikipedia, approximately 276 million Americans will celebrate Thanksgiving today. From sea to shining sea families will gather around the dinner table to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal. For those celebrating with the traditional feast there will be a lot of “Pass the turkey please! Pass the mashed potatoes please! Pass the gravy please!”
Even as I type this I see families gathered. I see them laughing and passing the turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy. And I hear the Lord say “Pass the Faith please!”
Yesterday we took a quick look at the Passover meal. The Lord instructed the Israelites in Exodus 13:3 to observe the Passover meal each year in remembrance of the day He delivered them out of Egypt. In Exodus 13:8 the Lord goes on to say And you shall tell your son, that this is done because of what the Lord did for me! (paraphrased)
The most important thing we can pass on to our children is faith. It is good to share with our children what God has done in our lives. It is good to pass on the stories of God’s faithfulness. It is even good to pass on the stories of our trials and tribulations to show our children that God is with us and brings us through every fire we face.
I grew up Lutheran. I am thankful for my Reformation roots. I love the traditional hymns (even though I find them impossible to sing in tune to). The psalmists of the early Lutheran church truly understood the gospel and Lutheran hymns are some of the most God honoring worship songs to this day.
Another observation I have made about many Lutherans, is that even though they love Jesus, they are very polite and quiet about their faith. I believe that is largely in part to the Scandinavian and Norwegian roots of many Lutherans. Though my mom and dad rarely engaged in conversations of faith with me as a child, I still learned faith from them.
My dad passed on the importance of serving in your local church. He ushered most Sundays. Though we used to tease him saying his favorite part of ushering was the fact that the guys went downstairs and had coffee during the sermon, I knew better. My dad was a humble man. He was a farmers son. He knew the importance of serving and giving. He ushered with a smile on his face and loved to tease. He never once said “Jenny, now when you grow up it’s your duty to serve in church.” He didn’t have to. I simply observed him and loved him for it, even if it took me years to realize it.
My mom passed on the importance of time alone with God in Bible study, as well as time with others in study. She starts every day with her coffee and her Bible. Even when we go to the cabin as a family she sneaks away in the morning to have her alone time with God. She has also been part of a church Bible study and women’s Bible study for as long as I can remember.
I was blessed two years ago to “crash” her senior Bible study to do a 10 week study on Luther and the Reformation. There was many years of faith coming together on those evenings. I am grateful for that study. It was exciting as an adult to go back and learn the roots and foundation of the faith I grew up in. I am sure I learned about them during confirmation but lets be honest- I was most likely more interested in the cute boy across the table than I was about Luther nailing his 95 Theses to the door 🙂
My mom also passed on the gift of pure worship. When I was a teen attending church with my mom (while my dad was downstairs drinking coffee with the other ushers :), I remember her singing so loud. I am ashamed to say that there were times I was embarrassed by how loud she sang (Lets be honest as a teen you are embarrassed by just about everything your parents do in public. For example, things like breathing…)
Many years ago I was at church with my mom. It must have been a Mother’s Day or Christmas Eve service. She was still singing loud and proud. Instead of being embarrassed, I smiled. I now understood her. I understood her heart. She loves Jesus. She has a hard time expressing it to others, but she can express it in worship. She passed that on to me as well. When my family goes to church I am in the middle, hands raised and singing as loud as I can. My teens get embarrassed but they are also used to it. My hubby stands stiff and quiet and I just go ahead and worship loud enough for the four of us. I am passing on what was passed to me. Someday they will get it.
Today as you gather, I encourage you to pass the faith in whatever way you can. Some of you will share stories. Some of you will simply lead with love. Some of you may even be moved to seek or extend forgiveness to a family member, and in doing that you are passing on faith!
Enjoy your ThanksOver today. May you heart and bellies be filled with everything good! May you feel the love of Abba Father surround you as you go forth in your day. May you have the grace for all circumstances in your day. May you pass the faith in whatever way the Lord gives you to share. And please consider sharing in a comment below the ways you either pass on faith today, or have had faith passed on to you!
Today’s prayer is in honor of my Lutheran roots. It is a prayer I heard at the end of every service growing up and even today when I visit. It is a blessing from the Lord found in Numbers 6:24-26:
“The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face to shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace”
Passing the Faith,