6 These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 2 so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. 3 Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you.4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[a] 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Bethany: How can you love God with all your strength? Sophia: To not bully other people. B: Yes! If we have strength, we don’t use it to make other people feel weak.
Bethany: What is a way that we talk about God everyday in our house? Sophia: We watch church together on Sundays, we say Psalm 23 every night at bed time, mommy sings the song “I am a sheep and theLord is my shepherd” when we go to bed.
Bethany: What are some ways we can use Christmas celebrations to remind us of God and his commandments? Sophia: We go to Christmas service at church and sing songs, we have the wooden nativity set with a star on top and little babyJesus that you tell us we can’t play with.* God was the one who created Christmas because Christmas is all about Jesus being born. It’s not just about Santa bringing presents.
*Okay, in my defense, the girls can’t play with the olive wood nativity set that Danny brought me back from Bethlehem. They have several other nativity sets to play with.
Our advent theme is God is Near. As a parent, this passage in Deuteronomy is meaningful because it reminds us to talk about God in our normal everyday lives. God is with us in every moment from school and work to playing outside, cooking dinner and brushing teeth. At Christmas, we have even more reminders of God’s nearness when we look at the star on our Christmas tree, the nativity set, or the Christmas wreath on our front door.
What is a way you can use a Christmas tradition or decoration to remind yourself (and your children) that God is near?
"Comfort Ye". Arrangement © Deanna Witkowski / Tilapia Tunes / BMI. Used with permission.DeannaJazz.bandcamp.com