3/11/24  Lent Psalm 78:1-39

3/11/24 Lent Psalm 78:1-39

My friend Chris says I bring up two things all the time, the fact that I had shingles 2 years ago and the fact that Doris and I went to Italy last fall. I don’t think that is true, but both of those things had a profound impact on me. 

When we were in Italy we met and spent time with an incredible young missionary couple, James and Heidi Romano. They are in Reggello, in Florence, and work with Christ is the Answer mission. Their commitment to Jesus and to their country is astounding. And… the story is made better by the fact that the mission work was established by their parents who, as young people, came to know Christ, sold out for Him, and gave their entire lives to evangelizing the Italian people. 

The Romano’s are visiting us this week. We took them to church yesterday. Last night we invited a few people over for homemade, authentic Italian lasagna. Deliziosa! 😊 Included in that group were my two grandsons, Jon-Mical and Jakson. After the meal, I asked James to tell the story of his parents and the work he and Heidi are doing in Italy. We listened to stories of healings, dramatic conversions, narrow escapes, and answered prayer. Can I be honest? I arranged that whole supper and invited those people over so that my grandsons could sit and hear those stories. 

Psalm 78, our Lenten Psalm today (verses 1-39. It’s a long psalm) begins with, “Hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth.” Then verse 4, “We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord.” The rest of the first half of the psalm is a recounting of all that God has done for Israel and a reminder to teach those things to our children. Verse 6 says, “Teach the children so the next generation will know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn will tell their children.” I cannot think of anything more important in my life right now than to make sure my children and my children’s children hear over and over again the amazing works of God, the things He has done in our lives and in the world around us. 

I urge you to be intentional about that. Plan times, write rituals into your life, create opportunities to tell the stories of Jesus to your family and to your friends. Every new year we have a family prayer night where we rehearse what God has done. I write notes in Bibles about the miracles of God in our family and give them to my kids. We put Bible verses on baseball bats and read Bible storybooks at night. Find a way. Make it a point to expose your kids and grandkids to the people and places where God is doing powerful stuff. If we do that, the psalmist says, “They will put their trust in God and not forget His deeds.” (verse 7) This thing, teaching Jesus stories to our family is a work that will change generations. 

So, if you want, I can send the Romano’s over to your house this week. Or I can come myself and talk about the time I had shingles.  

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