Every Sunday morning is a teaching moment…Taking time to teach our young ones.

1511331_706123226152813_4875238377950661103_nEvery sunday is a teaching moment for my kids.  As a family and youth minister it can be something I take for granted.  I was reminded this weekend, as I sat in my new Church, the importance of teaching my kids what is happening in the worship service. A new place means new practices and old ones done in different ways.  Often I forget that my own kids may not fully understand or know what is going on. So this Sunday I had a great moment with my youngest.

Durring confession we were asked to kneel or sit and ask God for forgiveness. I think my youngest may not have understood or might have just not paid attention but either way she was kneeling and praying but she looked very confused.  So I leaned over and asked her “Do you know what you are supposed to be doing?”  She looked at me and said “No dad!” She had that look of embarrassment in her eyes.  She was praying. She tried to look like she knew what she was doing. She was kneeling and had her hands folded and eyes shut. I leaned over and said “Ella we are confessing our sin. We are telling God what we did wrong this week.” She turned and with a small smile of enlightenment she got back to it. I was so excited for her because she got to finish her confession and hear God’s words of absolution.

This episode made me think however that more of us need to remember to share with our young and new members what is going on.  We in pews need to share with them about what is happening so that they can participate. Just because they are preforming the actions doesn’t mean they know what is happening. Next week as a parent I would encourage you to watch your children and ask if they understand what is going on. Ask if they need help to participate.  When we see a new person who looks lost come beside them and ask if they need help.  It may just help them hear about Jesus and his awesome forgiveness.

 And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” 30 So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this:
“Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter
    and like a lamb before its shearer is silent,
    so he opens not his mouth.
33 In his humiliation justice was denied him.
    Who can describe his generation?
For his life is taken away from the earth.”

34 And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. 36 And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?”[e] 38 And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39 And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing.
Acts 8:29-39

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We love the new, and hate the broken.

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I love new things. I love to new toys, games, tablets, computers, music and everything else in between. I also love new friendships, new people, new ideas, new everything. We all love new things.

The problem we have is, we all love new things so much, after a few months those new things get old. We love the new TV until 3 months later the new TV looks old, we love our new cell phone up until 3 months later when we drop our phone and notice the new ding on the side or crack the screen. We love our new friends and new people in our lives up until they give us a few dings, or really we start to notice the dings they have on them. They don’t look new after a short time.

Today I am thinking about relationships in my life that have been dinged. Those relationships that have seen the screen cracked or marked. Those relationships with my fellow believers in Christ that are broken and bruised. I want them to be new. I want them to go back to the way they were when I got them all new and shiny. The trouble is I am looking at it from the wrong place. You see I am trying, like many of us, to make something new myself. I a broken human being am trying to make this thing this relationship new when the only way it is new is through Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:17-18 says something amazing about our newness.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; (ESV)

Titus 3:5 also says:
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,

These verses talk about how our relationship with God is made new. My relationships can be made new each and every day because I have been made new each and every day, when I remember my old self being drowned in that water of baptism every day. This week I got to see a young person in 3rd grade baptized because he heard in his Lutheran day school about what that water does. How it makes him new in Christ. How in brings to us the forgiveness of sins. He wanted to be made new.

So how about us. I am reminded each and every day of my broken, not so new self and not so new relationships. I also know that each and everyday through Christ’s continually working in me I am made new. Those relationships that are also broken because of all our sin can be made new as well. Christ’s work in me and my fellow believer gives me the greatest hope as I continue to try mend those broken relationship with those around me. May it give you that hope as well.