Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Write This on Your Doorposts

In the book of Deuteronomy, when Moses receives the law and presents it to the people, he follows up with instructions: Repeat God’s commandments often - when you’re getting up and sitting down, going out and coming in - and bind them to the door post and gate in order that you may see them often and be reminded (Deut 6.) Some Jewish families take this instruction literally by posting mezuzahs, little capsules attached to a doorway which hold the first commandment to worship God alone. A concrete reminder to make God a priority.

In recent reading I’ve been challenged by author Natalie Frisk to think about whether I “have physical reminders of the good news message of Jesus around the house and in life” in the manner that’s encouraged by Moses’ instructions regarding the law. When I look around my house, I realize that I have plenty of religious themed art - both Christian and not, often mementos of travels to other places - but nothing that speaks specifically to the good news of Jesus and the call to walk in his footsteps.

In her book, Raising Disciples: How to make faith matter for our kids, Frisk talks about how important it is to make our faith visible, not only for our own sake, but for the sake of our children and all who enter our space.  If we internalize what is most central to our identity as Christians how will we pass it on? She inspired me. I thought about which of Jesus’ teachings are good news to me and which I seek most to follow and pass along to my own children.  Which do I want to be reminded of every day?

I’d been looking for something to hang in an awkward spot in my kitchen with weird dimensions and an oddly placed electrical panel.  No painting or hanging has been quite right. Neither of the quilts purchased at the MCA fit the spot and as I thought about making a quilt to cover it I’ve drawn a blank.  Until now.

Now our family will have Jesus’ words, “Blessed are the peacemakers” hanging before us as I cajole the kids through breakfast before school and as we eat dinner together as a family. Each Sunday as we light our peace lamp in worship we pray for a just peace for all creation. I hope that these words of Jesus in the kitchen will bless us to be that peace-filled presence.

In my own childhood home, our dining room wall held a framed quotation of Menno Simons.  Words which are drawn from Jesus and which may be well known to some in our congregation.  Word which have inspired me to a faith that shows itself in action: 
True evangelical faith cannot lie dormant, it clothes the naked; it feeds the hungry; it comforts the sorrowful; it shelters the destitute; it aids and consoles the sad; it binds up what is wounded; it becomes all things to all people.
That’s just a little too long for a quilt.

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