I recall memories of my childhood with gratitude to God: my dad rising early in the morning to read the Bible and pray; my mom preparing to welcome guests for a night of delicious food, lively conversation and singing; receiving my weekly allowance, knowing 10 cents of that dollar went into my offering envelope; my grandmother spending Mondays making quilts for people in distant lands.
My memories include Sunday school teachers inviting us into the lives and mysterious stories of God’s people in a different time and place. I remember my pastors, who not only required us to memorize the catechism, Scripture and hymns, but who brought God’s word to life through sermons and Bible studies. I remember learning to ask the Lutheran question, “What does this mean?”
If anyone referred to what they were doing as teaching us faith practices, I don’t recall it. In fact, I suspect such a term would have earned a healthy dose of skepticism. For my parents and grandparents, pastors and Sunday school teachers, it was clear that faith comes from hearing God’s word and that faith is the fruit of the Spirit working through the gospel. I am grateful that I was the beneficiary of people who practiced their faith and instilled faith practices.
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