I have heard people say, ‘Change is good! It’s good to change’, and I agree we can’t stay stagnant in the way we do things just because it was always done that way in the past.

However, some change is difficult to understand or endure. And we may think that some things are simply too important to change. Some family members may mourn losing the joy of sitting down for a meal together to share our thoughts as we talk about the day’s happenings if this no longer happens. Perhaps for one reason or another, we no longer get the chance to share time with God over his word as a household.

TREASURED MEMORIES OF DEVOTION TIMES

I remember growing up that my family not only had a devotion time with prayer and questions about the devotion, but we also sang songs together from Rejoice and Sing (1974, LPH). Even those in the family who had trouble with singing sang from the heart and together we made a joyful noise to the Lord.

Spending time together at the table after a meal is a time I treasure. Now with my own family, we always spend time talking, sharing about the day, and growing together and in God’s word – but maybe not the singing! I pray that my children, when they have families, will see the importance of this, too.

TRACTS CAN BRING FAMILIES TOGETHER

Lutheran Tract Mission (LTM) has just produced a series of 12 tracts to be used by families to help them share, read, pray, talk and bless each other. I started to write them in 2000 when I was asked by the LCA’s Department of Liturgics to produce something for families. They were written, but we couldn’t find a way to produce these, but now they have been – in God’s timing. Entitled: ‘Growing Together as Family’ and endorsed by the LCANZ’s Commission on Worship, each 16-page tract enables four weeks of sharing time. The topics covered are My Family, Advent, Christmas, New Year/Epiphany, Lent, Easter, 10 Commandments, Apostles’ Creed, Baptism, Holy Communion, Lord’s Prayer and Pentecost/Trinity.

The tracts are available through the LTM website at www.ltm.org.au – where there are more than 900 resources to be used to share God’s love, joy, comfort and peace.

Why not try them with your family? They are designed to help the family with their busyness of life, not to be a burden, but a joy. The devotion can be done all at once for the week or divided up over different nights. There is no singing, but feel free to add this as well!

Spending more time with Jesus and God’s word – now that’s a GOOD change!

Anne Hansen is Lutheran Tract Mission Development Officer.

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