In July’s “Corner” I promised to continue a little discussion of Rich Melheim’s work. You may recall that he was the keynote or maybe more appropriately the “guest” speaker at the Synod Assembly in June.
I didn’t talk about him specifically in last month’s column, but I promise that I DID talk about one of Dr. Melheim’s passions; getting the Word into the family. Last months “Corner” went on a bit about how schools after the Reformation and up until the early parts of the 20th Century were often attached to a church – or at least had specific ways in which teaching Christ to children was accommodated. In public schools there were designated times (usually Wednesday afternoons) for the local church to come to the school or for the children to go to the church for instruction in the faith. This even happened in the posh Long Island portion of New York City into the 1950s.
But no longer.
We often forget the centrality of the family as we struggle with how to go about keeping ourselves and our children learning and growing in Christ. During the Reformation Luther came up with his concept of the three estates – the Family, the Church, and the State. There are specific areas of responsibility that go with each of these, each with a hierarchy headed by God. But the family bears ultimate responsibility for training children – it is in real ways the basis for the rest of society. In his treatise on The Estate of Marriage, Luther states “that Father and Mother are apostles, bishops, and priests to their children, for it is they who make them acquainted with the gospel.” (Luther’s Works, Vol. 45 pg 46) Yes, mom and dad, it’s on YOU to pick up the slack.
Here comes Rev. Dr. Rich Melheim!! One of the thrusts of his ministry has been “Faith5” – what his website calls a “simple, easy-to-implement faith practice, perfect for incorporation your your bedtime routine for five to fifteen minutes a night.” (http://www.faith5.org/) This website targets young families in particular. The goal is to get into a daily routine that includes these five little exercises.
- Share –take a couple of minutes to talk about how the day went.
- Read – a story or passage from the Bible.
- Talk – about how the story might relate to highs or lows.
- Pray – for one another’s highs and lows.
- Bless – one another.
Try it. And if you don’t have small children, that’s okay. Do it with a spouse, a roomie, or even by yourself. Think each day about life with each other in the light of God’s word – and in the end don’t forget to bless each other. If you are alone, bless yourself and your family here at CLC/UFR. When you were baptized, you were adopted into the Body of Christ, and you belong to the family of God which is the Church. As you pray for each other, pray also for your brothers and sisters in Christ. We can all pray together, and bless each other daily.
- Pr. Tim