Passing Down the Faith (An Extended Sermon for All God's Children)

Rebecca Sheridan
Sunday, August 29, 2021
Deuteronomy 4:1-12, 6-9

    The first reading that Ms. Pam read for us this morning talks about all of the things that we can learn from God.  Deuteronomy tells us that God gives us wisdom and discernment.  Can anyone help me explain what wisdom and discernment are?  These are big words to talk about knowing right from wrong and using our brains to make good decisions.  So maybe when we are at the swimming pool, we see one of our friends is there, and we get out and want to run because we are so excited to say hi!  But the wise decision is to walk so that we don’t slip and fall and get hurt.  Or maybe there’s a plate of cookies out at a family picnic, and you want to eat ALL of the cookies, but the wise decision is to just eat one or two so you don’t feel sick later.  Our faith in God helps us make good decisions.  We go to school to learn and grow, and our teachers help us become wise and discerning, hopefully!  If you came with your family, take a minute or two to share who your favorite teacher was and why.  If you came by yourself, you can turn to a neighbor, and those of you at home can write it as a comment on our Facebook page or take some time to reflect silently about your favorite teacher.  Who was your favorite teacher, and why?
    What qualities made your favorite teacher your favorite?  Now, I want you to talk with your neighbor or family again about something you can teach other people.  What is something that you are good at that you could teach others to do?  For example, I really enjoy baking.  My grandma was a REALLY good baker. She made everything from scratch and never even bought a loaf of bread; she always made bread and rolls and cakes and pies and cookies by herself.  My mom learned a lot from her mom, and my mom taught me how to be a good baker (and I enjoy it!) and now I enjoy teaching Erin and Grace how to bake.  So, what’s something you can do well that you could teach someone else?  (After sharing in small groups, share with the congregation)
    Wow, we have a lot of talented people in our church!  I love learning AND teaching!  I learn new things every day, and so this time of year is such an exciting time.  As I mentioned earlier, our reading from Deuteronomy reminds us that we don’t just learn good things at school, we also can learn a lot from God by reading the Bible, talking about God at home as a family, and going to church and Sunday School.  Even adults go to Bible study groups to still learn more from God.  God asks us not just to learn, but to also pass down or teach what we learn from God to our children and our children’s children.  I wonder, what are some important things that you have learned about God that you would want to teach someone else?  Again, those of you online can share in the comments.
    We learn lots of important things from God – the 10 Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, wisdom and how to tell right from wrong.  One of the most important things I think we learn is that God loves us and is always willing to forgive us.  Jesus, God’s son, died on the cross and rose again on Easter morning to remind us all of the time how much God loves us.  And God teaches us to share God’s love with other people, so we think of others not just ourselves.  Jesus says the most important things are to love God and love our neighbor as ourself.  And no matter how young or old we are, we can keep learning more things from God, and teach others about how much God loves us. 
Amen!  And now, we’ll sing a song to remind us how much Jesus loves us!