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 (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).
Our family loves to spend days at the library gathering books and meeting friends. We also enjoy the challenge of summer reading. Each week we keep track of how much time we spend reading. Once we reach two hours’ worth, we turn our sheet in at the library for a prize.
Watching my kids delight in books and seeing their progress prompted me to think about how to also incorporate a faith program for my children during the summer. Perhaps counting how many Bible stories we read together or how many days we spend in worship or meals cooked for a family. But I quickly realized that this type of recordkeeping isn’t what a faithful life is like. Our lives of faith aren’t about what we do but about whose we are.
A summer of faith is less a program and more a reminder of God’s ever-abiding presence in our lives. It looks at our lives, which are filled with doubt and worry, to-dos and busy schedules, and says you are loved just as you are. It meets us in the day to day where we pray on the go, talk about God’s goodness in creation, and ask and receive forgiveness. A summer of faith is just one season of growing in relationship with God, part of a life committed to loving and being loved in Christian community. This summer don’t worry about checking any to-dos for your faith, simply bask in the knowledge that God is with you.
- Leave your children’s Bible where it’s easily accessible and make it a practice to read its stories throughout the day.
- Make the Bible come to life by bringing it with you and reading its stories in specific locations. Go to a body of water and read about Moses crossing the Red Sea (Exodus 14). When you have a picnic, read the feeding of the 5,000 (John 6). Go on a hike and read the Road to Emmaus (Luke 24).
Go through your home and collect books to donate to a library or a kids’ ministry.
Carve out time to walk around your neighborhood and town this month. As you walk, pray for the people in the community, their needs, and how God can use you to bring peace. Before you begin, pray together: God be with us as we walk among your creation and your people. Open our eyes to see you in our neighbors. Amen.