On Sunday, July 28, 2019, Pastor Jennifer Smith-Walz preached on the topic “Your Children and Children’s Children” from the sermon series “Ages and Stages.” Her sermon is based on the Scripture reading from Deuteronomy 6: 1-9.
Who helped you find faith? Who helped you to know how much God loves you by showing you how much they loved you. Who are those people that helped you to understand how to love God and others by showing you how they loved God and others? I invite you to give thanks to them now.
In Deuteronomy 6, the Scripture tells us, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” We all know this passage. Out of it come guiding principles and Christian practices that we all believe in and follow. This passage breathes with life and faith and spirit.
Jesus said the greatest commandment of all, is to love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus is speaking to the community family of families. We are responsible for the children of the whole community and not just our own biological family. I urge you to keep these words in your hearts, recite them and talk about them to your children and grandchildren at home and others away from home to share this faith with them. We are also a model of hope for others around us, including our church family.
Some of you have different concerns for your children and grandchildren, particularly trouble or problems your loved ones are facing. The general desire is for our young people to have grown up in the faith. Grab onto one thing today and apply to your life or situation. Because challenges, suicides, world problems, and bullying will happen. But God is with us. He has endowed us with resilience, trust, and forgiveness. Don’t wait until your faith is where you want it to be. Start now and take the challenge to grow into the model you want to be. Good Christian practices include Loving God, loving our neighbor, showing grace, vulnerability, and forgiveness.
We are models of faith for others around us. Who are your models? It can be your parents, grandparents, and another adult from the church. These three groups are the most significant and have a lot of power for good or bad. It goes beyond just good behavior, and sometimes we forget the falls and the failures. We are therefore invited to pay attention to our spiritual development, to our practices of loving God and others. We must create a prioritized space in our lives where we are gathering, praying, and studying the Scripture with other Christians.
Here is the link to the podcast of Pastor Jenny’s July 28 sermon.
Here is the link for the video of the July 28 service, found on Princeton United Methodist Church Facebook page