Building Altars

Posted: September 4, 2012 in Teachable Moment
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One of my daughter’s favorite things to do is look through my scrapbooks. We spend lots of time flipping through pages of Christmas memories, birthday celebrations and candid moments. However, as I look at each page and watch my little girl delight in all the pictures decorated with glitter and stickers, I can’t help but think about the seasons of life that the pictures represent. In each season, there are memories of joy and pain, but looking at all the photos arranged on the page make each memory seem like brush strokes on a painting of God’s mercy… It’s like I am standing back to look at a much larger creation and suddenly all the colorful little moments captured in pictures are there to remind me of how God was revealing himself in each time of my life. Well, this makes me think about the Old Testament. There are countless references of God commanding his people to build altars, which were intended to be reminders of something God had done. For instance, in Genesis 35 God commands Jacob to make an altar where He appeared to him when he fled from Esau; this was not only for the purposes of worship, but also so that Jacob would remember that God had answered him in his distress and his faith would be strengthened.

So to me pictures are like little altars…They serve as reminders of the things God has done in my life to reveal himself to me, and as moms I think it is important to teach our children how to build these altars. As we go through life, with its mountains and valleys, it is easy to forget that God is using our journey to paint a much bigger picture of who He is. We must teach our children to remember because remembering is how faith really grows. It doesn’t really matter if its pictures in a scrapbook, entries in a journal or a box full of special mementos, as long as it’s something that will remind them of who God is and that He is the masterpiece revealed in the colorful seasons of their lives.

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