Monday, October 24th. Deuteronomy 6:1-9

Now this is the commandment—the statutes and the ordinances—that the LORD your God charged me to teach you to observe in the land that you are about to cross into and occupy, so that you and your children and your children’s children may fear the LORD your God all the days of your life, and keep all his decrees and his commandments that I am commanding you, so that your days may be long. Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe them diligently, so that it may go well with you, and so that you may multiply greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, as the LORD, the God of your ancestors, has promised you.

 

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 6:1-9

 

I have played, not well, many different sports through the years.  The one common denominator in all of them, from basketball to golf, is the notion of fundamentals.  Every sport includes some basic elements of how you use and position your body to achieve the best results.  While there might be certain players who excel despite poor fundamentals, they are rare and they don’t last long.

 

We would do well to understand God’s commandments as fundamentals for living in human community.  They are not a list of petty injunctions from an insecure despot.  The commandments are an invitation to a life well lived, in relationship both with God and with our neighbors.

 

I was a tall kid.  It was inevitable that one day I would discover basketball.  It happened in the 4th grade.  Ron Eilers worked down at the local bank and he volunteered as the coach for the elementary basketball program.  He was the first one to teach me some fundamentals – dribbling with my fingertips, how to cradle the ball when shooting, what my hand should look like when I followed through.  I was born with some measure of innate ability, but it took an adult to help me channel that ability by learning the fundamentals.

 

So it is that Deuteronomy exhorts parents to teach their children the commandments of God.  Parents are God’s plan for unwrapping the gifts of their children.  More and more I am convinced that the church exists to help parents do just that – to talk about the faith in very natural “on the run” kinds of ways, “when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise.”

 

Let us pray:  Gracious Lord, thank you for the voices who have shaped our lives and taught us the connections between your commandments and our lives.  Bless parents who seek to instill healthy spirituality in the lives of their children.  Guide your church to be a safe place for people to discover a faith that honors you and serves people.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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3 Responses to “Monday, October 24th. Deuteronomy 6:1-9”

  1. Sharon Longnecker Says:

    Thank you for this. Our pastor is working at bringing the parents into the confirmation teaching. I have shared this with him for encouragement.

    We so appreciate your writing the devotions. It is the first computer thing I do in the mornings. Read and send along to family and friends.
    Gratefully,
    Sharon and John Longnecker and family

  2. Tina Says:

    Thank you Pastor Kerry. I wish I had been better at sharing God’s word with my children when they were young. Although two of the three state that they are Christian, only one feeds his faith regularly. The youngest isn’t even sure if he believes in God.

    I do take comfort in the belief that God sends many people into our lives to act guide and encourage our faith and it is my sincere hope that He will lead all my children into a closer walk.

  3. Mark Says:

    I had just read the following yesterday.
    What do you make of it in light of todays devotion?

    Jeremiah 31:33 “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 34 No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

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