Creating a Natural Rhythm in the Home
Take a Look: Exodus 12:1-26
In your “take a look” reading, you will have noticed how God was establishing the first Passover. However, once the charge was given that each generation continue to observe the holy feast (12:24,25), God declared in Exodus 1:26 that, “it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, what mean ye by this service?”
One of the unique ways that God sought to help the home engage in preserving His words and keep their distinct identity was to create teachable moments in the home. In other words, by observing certain feasts and festivals throughout the year, an opportunity and means would present itself to tell the story of God’s words and works in the past. It would enable teachable moments that occurred naturally, rather than by compulsion or commandment. Instead, because the home-life followed a natural rhythm that was penetrated by holy times and holy observations, children naturally grew into their distinct identity as God’s chosen people. They learned it through family practice and participation.
As discussed in the first week, consistency is key. This is what rhythm implies. In music it is a “strong, regular, repeated pattern of movement or sound” (Merriam-Webster). Rhythm is what gets stuck in our heads after we hear it long enough. We find ourselves humming the tune long after the tune has
ceased to play. In like fashion, when our home follows a natural rhythm, things begin to stick, and we find more opportunity to discuss important concepts of life and scripture in our home. Unfortunately, when homes fail to have a natural rhythm, opportunities are forced and unnatural and can often produce resistance and confusion. This is why it is extremely important to establish a repeatable rhythm in our homes by developing a schedule that, while it may stretch us, can be established and consistently followed.
The dinner table is very important and a place where a great deal of teachable moments can occur. I like to call this the Theology of the Table. Did you know that Jesus delivered some of the most powerful lessons from the pulpit of a table? Take time to look over a few of these events in scripture:
Jesus at Levi the Publican’s Table (Luke 5:27-39)
Jesus at the Pharisee’s Table (Luke 7:36-50)
Jesus at a Certain Pharisee’s Table (Luke 11:37-53)
Jesus at the Chief Pharisee’s Table (Luke 14:1-24)
Jesus and the Last Supper (Luke 22:14-38)
These are just several examples of messages that were delivered from behind a table. In like fashion, the table is a place of conversation in our homes. It’s a time of discussion, daily reflection, and openness between family members. Consider that there are seven dinners a week for fifty-two weeks. Do the math! That is 364 days a year where an opportunity is provided to engage in teachable moments as a family. If dinner-time lasted a minimum of one hour, that means you are given 364 hours of uninterrupted time with
your family. Teachable moments that happen naturally are important!
Even today, hinged upon the events of the first Passover, orthodox Jewish families undergo the ritualistic search for leaven within the home on Passover’s eve. With candles lit and not a word spoken between the blessing and the finding of the leaven, families engage in a delightful, yet somber search, to find and remove the leaven from the home. Believed in Jewish tradition to have originated via the searching of Jerusalem with candles in Zephaniah 1:12, the search for Chametz (leaven) became an activity in the home that reinforced, not only the narrative of God’s Word, but an awareness of the importance of purity and obedience in the home.
Challenge for the Family
What are you doing in your home that creates teachable moments? Are you finding that electronics are getting in the way of these efforts? Why not create a box or a basket in the house where all electronic devices are placed at a certain time of the day? Play games together and start a family game night. Go to the store together and pick out a new game every month. During game nights there are so many lessons that can be learned and discussed naturally. How about having the children write and perform neat Bible skits while you cheer them on! They can dress up like Bible characters and recreate stories in the Bible. How about picking a new Bible character every month to discuss during family devotion time? Pick King David one month, Daniel another, and Samuel another. Have the whole family participate in learning about these Bible
characters and discuss the events, the people, and various aspects of each of their stories. In other words, develop consistent rituals in your home that create teachable moments for God’s words and works.