Introduction: I’m Glad You Asked

31days

In the book of Exodus, Moses displays his understanding of the nature of children and the responsibility of parents: “And when your children say to you, “What do you mean by this service? You shall say, “It is the sacrifice of the Lord’s Passover, for he passed over the houses of the people of Israel in Egypt.” (12:26-27)

Moses assumes children will ask why. And he instructs parents to give an answer that speaks of reality.  The instruction is all in the context of laying out for children ceremonies that will portray the answer.  He is giving them the answer, both spoken and displayed.  And the answer is God–God saved us and we honor him, worship him, thank him.  We and our children need this kind of yearly repetition to impress us with the weight of what God has done.

-Noel Piper, Treasuring God in our Traditions (emphasis mine)

As Piper states, I need the yearly repetition of seasons and holidays to remind me of what God has done–a big-picture liturgy, if you will.  I also need liturgy writ small for daily, even hourly reminders of gospel truths.

What I love about storytelling with metaphors, symbols, and colors is that it prompts curious inquiry from children (and adult guests):  Why the candles?  Why the chiming phone every day at 9:00?  Why the little pots of dirt on the dining table?  Why are we eating this food, on this day?

“I’m so glad you asked,” I’ll say.  “and the answer is God: God saved us and we honor him, worship him, thank him.”

Keep Reading: Meet the Teacher: Noel Piper

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5 responses to “Introduction: I’m Glad You Asked

  1. This is why I love the Christian year – the repetition of remembering what God has done. 🙂

  2. This is so helpful. I’m excited to follow your series this month— you’re articulating something I have a longing for, and I also appreciate explanations like this about why liturgy actually works! My husband and I have different backgrounds church-wise and a bit of an ongoing debate about keeping liturgy from becoming meaningless repetition. Examples like Moses’ instructions above provide great meat for discussion. Thanks again!

    • I haven’t been doing this long enough to know, but my working hypothesis on keeping liturgy fresh is that the person “enforcing” it (a priest, or a parent) has to still find it meaningful. I think the example of the leader goes a long way toward making it boring or inspiring.

      I hope you’ll get some food for thought as the series continues! I’d love to hear more of your thoughts on this issue.

  3. This is so interesting because I don’t know much about liturgical things at all!

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