By Barb Peterson
Shaping, sharing and passing on faith is what we are called to do as Christians. Just as church festivals, seasons, and worship invite us to recall God’s creative ongoing action, we find that in Bible scripture God’s story is our story. We are shaped by these stories which are our Christian heritage. And we too are invited not only to recall God’s story, but also share these stories with others. In so doing we pass on our heritage and faith. Who have you, might you, share God’s story with? How might you do this? Might you read a Bible passage, a Christian storybook, or maybe share a Bible story in your own words?
Remembering the Story:
We recall God’s story in scripture because it is our heritage and it speaks to us still today. Though the stories are thousands of years old, they have a timeless message. Scripture is the living breathing word of God, our source of guidance for life and right living. But even more, the stories provide us with insight into the very heart of God.
Recall or read one of your favorite Bible stories. Share with your child/children or another person what the story means for you. What is stirring within you as you recall the story? What thoughts and emotions do you think, feel? Do you identify with one of the characters? How? How has God touched you with the story?
Responding in Prayer:
Prayer shapes our faith by connecting us to God. Simply put; prayer is communication with God. It is a two way communication in which there is a time of both speaking and listening. We tend to be good at speaking prayer. This is the model we primarily experience and express. But for any conversation to be complete there needs to be a time of listening as well.
Consider the story you shared above. As you recalled what was stirring within you or howGod touched you with the story, what is it you would like to say to God? Start a simple prayer by addressing God with one of the following: “Dear God,” “God,” or “Jesus.” Next tell God what is on your mind and in your heart. The eloquence of words does not matter. What does matter is that they are your words, your thoughts and feelings. Finally, end the prayer by saying “Amen.”
Renewed with Blessing:
A blessing is something that shows approval, encourages, promotes well-being, and is an expression of good wishes. Old Testament scripture affirms that God is the one who bestows favor and well-being upon humankind. One such blessing is in Numbers 6:24-26 where God instructs Moses to share a blessing with the Israelites. Today, pastors share this same blessing with their congregations. Please share this blessing with your child/children or another person. “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you; the Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace.” You could also follow the blessing by making the sign of the cross on your child’s forehead or in the space in front of you.
Shaping, sharing and passing on faith is what we are called to do as Christians. In subsequent months I will expand upon various Christian spiritual practices that might enrich your faith life. Until then, may you be blessed with God’s holy presence as you are shaped, as you share, and as you pass on your faith.