Sunday was the finale of Steve's 'Inspire a Generation' series. During his message he talked about two different responses we can have to the generation coming behind us. One response is to look at this younger generation and judge them for looking different than us, talking different than us and behaving different than us. It's easy to be critical and complain when people aren't doing things like we wish they would do. The higher road is to look at this generation and have a heart that they would find Christ as we have and that in their own way they would serve Him and sing a 'new song' to our God. I had a couple of neat moments as a dad on Sunday. One moment was singing the song, 'O the Blood' with my family. My daughter was standing right next to me and about halfway through the worship time she gets hit with a case of the hiccups. We eventually got to a quieter point of the song and I could hear her belting out with intermittent hiccups the words 'what a sacrifice that saved my life, oh the blood it is my victory'. I just found myself sitting and listening and receiving more joy out of listening to her worship than singing myself.
My second little moment came after church with my son at the 'Make your mark' celebration in the new children's building. After making my way through the 'Disney Land' of church potlucks and devouring my almost 10 pound plate, I headed into one of the classrooms with Joshua. We sat down on the ground to write our Bible verse on the floor and pray for the generation of kids that would come to learn about Jesus in that place. He told me that he wanted to write John 3:16 on the floor. So we wrote it out together, I wrote one word and then he wrote the next word and we alternated like that all the way through. My wife later commented that she thought he wrote the whole thing (so basically my handwriting is equivalent to a 1st grade boy, yikes). After we wrote out the verse together, we prayed. He started out praying and then I followed him. We both prayed together for God to change lives in that place and that people would come to know Jesus. These moments of worshiping, writing God's Word and praying alongside my kids were a real highlight. I am once again challenged by the command for parents to pass on God's truth to their kids in in Deuteronomy 6 saying, '7 and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night.'
Passing on the faith is an exhausting, repetitive, and constant process. But for me, these little glimpses of hearing kids sing and pray to God, fire me up to keep going, knowing that my labor is not in vain.