How do you transmit Biblical truths to yourself and to the others in your home? If you have children, how are you teaching them to think about spiritual realities and love the things of God?
If you’re like me, you answer these questions purely in terms of information. I have quiet times, I write Bible verses on my mirror, I read story Bibles to my kids, I remind them of the gospel when I discipline.
But I don’t want to limit faith to mere information, and I don’t want my daughter to believe that Jesus is only found between the front and back cover of her Bible. I hope to create traditions in our daily routines and in our larger celebrations that surround us on all sides with the truth of the gospel, so that I can pray along with the words of St. Patrick: “Christ in me, Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me…Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down.”
No beautiful traditions or decorations can take the place of Bible stories and theological training; that is certainly the first step, a foundation for any Christian home. But developing liturgical traditions in your home provides opportunities to reinforce gospel truths in ways that appeal not only to the mind, but to the imagination and all of the senses.
For example, to prepare for Easter we don’t just read the story of the empty tomb at bedtime on Saturday night. It’s the celebratory finale to the whole season of Lent, which includes:
- For the eyes: seven candles burning brightly, then extinguished; seeds sprouting from dark soil; purple cloth and ribbons on the centerpiece, on the mantel, on the front door wreath.
- For the ears: a special playlist of songs about the cross
- For the tongue: pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, bread and wine to remember the Last Supper, followed by the sweet delight of resurrection rolls on Sunday
- For the skin: fingers digging in dirt to plant seeds; the textures of the various materials on the table centerpiece; feet splashing in cool water on Maundy Thursday
- For the nose: The sharp smell of candles as they’re blown out after mealtimes, smells of the delicious food and drink
- For the imagination: attend the local Passion play, reenact Passion story with play-doh
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