Bonus points to whoever figures out just how the title of this blog goes with the message!
When our oldest son Caleb turned 8 years old, we gave him the first Harry Potter book, “The Chamber of Secrets” and a new family tradition was born. For almost seven years now I’ve been reading these books to my kids somewhere between one and five evenings every week. They receive the first book on their eighth birthday, and the second on their ½ birthday, and so on until we have made it through all seven books together. It is a joy for me to read to them using the voices I believe the characters would have, see the mix of emotions they go through as we live the ups and downs of Harry’s journey, and to watch each movie with them when each book is finished. I love that having them snuggled up next to me listening intently, gaining a love for reading that will stick with them throughout their lives! Caleb and I finished the series more than three years ago, Hailey and I are in the last book now, and Jonah is about to start the second.
Lately, I’ve been preaching on the 3 Dimensional, balanced life our Savior Jesus lived while He walked this earth (check out Mike Breen’s “Building a Discipling Culture”. He perfectly lived what we find in Micah 6:8 to “love mercy” (the In relationship with our brothers and sisters in Christ), to “act justly” (the Out relationship to the ‘not yet’ Christians God places in our lives), and to “walk humbly with our God” (the Up relationship we experience with our heavenly Father). Jesus did so as our substitute before suffering the death we deserved and rising to proclaim victory over our sin!
For a few weeks we were focused on the “Up” relationship and I spent some time with 2 Timothy 3:16: “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right”(NLT). I then spent time imploring the people of The Vine to dig into God’s breathing, life-giving Word! Then the conviction hit me… How many hours have I spent doing good things like reading Harry Potter to my kids and giving them a joy for reading, coaching their football, baseball, volleyball, basketball, and soccer teams giving them a love for friendly competition and exercise, as compared to reading God’s life-giving Word with them? Sure, they are exposed to it in our nearlyevery day family breakfast devotions, and at church on Sunday, but there is so much more.
So… We’ve started a new tradition. Every Sunday, our kids come to Steph’s and my bedroom ready for bed at 7:45 pm with their Bibles in hand. We then take turns reading three or four chapters from a book of The Bible together and watching videos from The Bible Project. We are almost through the book of Acts now. I believe it is my favorite night of the week now… and theirs too.
Get into our God’s breathing, life-giving Word together with your family/community and watch it change your life… Experience the Holy Spirit transforming your life, not just in the Up relationship with your Father, but also in the In and Out calls of your faith journey!