Thursday, Jan. 25th 2018

My Little Book of the Ten Commandments

     A few weeks ago, my little boy turned one! As a new mom, I have found myself thinking more and more often about how I can best share my faith with my son, Theo. I admire so many of the ways that my grandparents, parents, church leaders and friends shared faith with me. At the same time, there were things they did that I would like to differently. Think about it: Who shaped your faith life? What affected you for better/for worse?

     I was thinking about this as I looked back on Autom’s “My Little Book of the Ten Commandments” that my parents found when they were cleaning out my childhood room. It is clear that I was a perfectionist and that I was called to ministry when I look at the fact that I was gauging my faithfulness in elementary school. By each commandment, I had evaluated myself. Take a look – this one should bring comfort to all of us:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The rest of my responses were as follows:
– You shall have no other gods before me: Good at!
– Don’t take the Lord’s name in vain Need to work on!
– Keep the Sabbath holy: Work on, almost there!
– Honor your father and mother: REALLY need to work  on!
– Don’t commit adultery: Not there yet!
– You shall not steal: ?
     

     Passing on our faith seems like it has to involve a lot more than explaining the Ten Commandments. It’s about more than being perfectly disciplined. It’s about more than petty moralisms. After all, with just a bit of the Christian life under our belts we begin to realize that following God changes everything—every part of our lives and every part of our being. We can memorize the law, quote scripture and master theology, but it seems to me that these things aren’t always the most captivating parts of our faith. Instead, those we are sharing our faith with want to know this: How has following God changed you? When we are willing to get personal and share vulnerably, I think our friends, kids and grandkids, the neighbors we reach out to – they are more likely to  tune in.
     So this week, I challenge you to write a prayer expressing the ways that God has changed your life. As you write, pray that you might have the courage to share this with someone younger than yourself. Trust that when it comes time to share, the Holy Spirit will be with you. As John 14:26 reads: “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”  

                    -Rev. Katherine Ebling-Frazier

 

 


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