When we were kids we had family devotions at the kitchen table before we dashed out the front door to catch the school bus.
Dad read the scripture and Mom read the inspirational writing from the denomination’s Rejoice! devotional.
We didn’t have deep theological conversations, although in later years I saw my Dad’s bookshelf included some important writings on Mennonite history and teaching. We had a copy of Martyrs Mirror, telling the stories of martyrs
from Stephen in the New Testament book of Acts through Anabaptists
(who re-baptized adults who had been baptized as infants) and were killed for their faith in the 16th and 17th centuries.
My mother has been living in a nursing home for a few years. The first time we visited, Mom’s Bible and devotional book were on her bedside stand.
Dad visited every day (that was pre-Covid). They continued the pattern of over 60 years with morning devotions.
Dad read the scripture. He or Mom read from Rejoice!
At home our prayers had been silent. In Mom’s nursing home room I asked to lead aloud in prayer.
Mom and I have a weekly Facetime visit which includes a song at the beginning and devotions at the end.
Sometimes we carry out daily rituals like this without much thought.
Often they go by the wayside or are revised as we move through life.
Whatever the content of our faith I believe it builds character and strengthens belief.
It’s an opportunity to begin each day with a reminder that God has shaped us and will be with us through the day ahead.