I’ve heard the story about a hundred times, seen it flannel graphed more times than I can remember, and yet there was something about hearing it from someone who was reading it for the first time that made me pause. She asked questions about this story that I had never slowed to notice.
“Why all the attention to detail?” “That sounds like a lot of rules, why does he make so many rules?” then my favorite question, “Do we have anything like this in our church?” which left me scratching my head thinking, “Well, I sure hope so!”
The story is Passover from the book of Exodus. My wife has been inspiring a Kolding Family Old Testament Revival of sorts with the Jesus Story Bible to thank. It’s been fantastic reading through Genesis and Exodus simply as non-fiction novels with stories to tell rather than textbooks with problems to solve.
When we got to Passover it was the first time my wife had read the whole story within the greater context of the Bible and was fascinated. We had a long and exciting conversation about all that God asks of his people in making sure they remember what he has done. I saw a few key characteristics that God repeatedly emphasizes and want to make sure I’m modeling in my own family.
God is amazingly specific in all that he asks his people to do in preparation for Passover and then again in how they are to celebrate it. At first it sounds like God is just a super Type-A control freak but remember, he does all things to reflect his glory to all people. One of the great pieces of being so detailed and specific is that older generations naturally get many opportunities to answer the question, “Why?” from young generations.
What a great way for older generations to remember and declare God’s faithfulness. Also, what a great way for younger generations to start living into their family’s (tribe’s) history and take a role in carrying that story into the future!
This has left me wondering: What are the rituals or rites of passage in my family that allow us to stop and remember what God has done? Along those lines, do these rituals ever provide others the opportunity to ask, “Why?” or allow me a chance to retell God’s story of faithfulness?
I see clearly that God calls his people to be set apart (sanctified) not so that we may be isolated but that we may answer the world’s “Why” with stories for His power, faithfulness, inclusion, and grace.
I truly believe by looking for intentional ways to incorporate the communal remembrance of our place in God’s story we take active steps out of the middle ground of life and into the adventure, favor, and fullness of life that the Kingdom of God has to offer.