Remembering in the Family

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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"Then your children will ask, ‘What does this ceremony mean?’ And you will reply, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD, for he passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt. And though he struck the Egyptians, he spared our families.' "

Exodus 12:26-27

One of the striking features of the Passover feast established in Exodus 12 is that it happens in the context of a family meal. This setting intentionally anticipates the presence of children and even their questions. In fact, the Passover Seder as practiced among Jews today includes a specific role for the youngest child, who asks: “Why is this night different from all other nights?”

Today, most Christians celebrate Communion in church, not at home. There are solid historical and theological reasons for this practice. But the earliest Christians, who didn’t have buildings set apart for their religious practices, received Communion in homes as part of a shared meal. I wonder sometimes how our sense of the Christian life would be changed if we shared the Lord’s Supper at home. What might happen in our family relationships? Would we be more forgiving to one another if we remembered together how God has forgiven us in Christ?

I am not suggesting that we Christians should stop receiving Communion in church gatherings. Nor am I saying that we should start having Communion at home. But I am asking us to think about how we might enrich our faith and our family life by engaging in spiritually powerful traditions. (Those who do not live with their biological families could develop such practices with their friends or small groups.)

For example, my family’s Thanksgiving traditions have been typically American: getting together for turkey, pumpkin pie, and watching football. None of this is wrong, of course (unless you count the sin of gluttony!). But, several years ago, we added to our traditions a time of going around the table and sharing what we’re thankful for. Such a simple addition to our Thanksgiving celebration has not only deepened our experience of God’s grace, but also drawn us together as a family. Our time of shared thanks is now my favorite part of Thanksgiving Day (well, except for the pumpkin pie).

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Do you have any family traditions that deepen your relationship with God and with your relatives? How might you and your family (or friendship group) share together in remembering God’s grace?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, thanks for the example of family celebrations in this chapter. I’m encouraged by what I read to think of how better to feast upon your grace when I’m with my family and friends. Give us wisdom as we consider how better to share you together.

To you be all the glory! Amen.