Have you ever looked into your childhood and cherished an event that as a child you took for granted? For example there are many times that I spent on my grandparents’ farm that were exciting for me. I remember going for long walks in fields along creeks. I remember taking the time to pause and skip rocks or even wade through the water. I had fun climbing hay bails in the pastures on a warm spring day. I can recall jumping from bail to bail with my cousins as we had races or played an altered version of King of the Hill.
The times that I took for granted were the moments that I spent the night with my grandparents at their home. In the morning I always awoke to the sound of the rooster crowing. That sound signaled me that it was time to start shaking off my sleepiness and head from my second floor guest bed to the main floor kitchen. Grandma was usually making something mouth-watering like bacon and eggs with fresh marmalade for toast. I liked to help set the table and get the large jar of milk from the refrigerator. The milk was fresh from the cow and I remember how that milk tasted distinctly different from our store-bought milk from my house. And speaking of different tastes, let’s talk about the butter for the toast. Real butter that was churned at the farmhouse. My sister and I were never morning people so conversation around the breakfast table was slim. However, I remember that we would pray and begin eating after grandpa came back from his morning chores. After grandma finished eating, she would take out her Bible and daily devotional book. This is the part that was taken for granted. As a kid you hoped that the adult talk would get over with quickly so that you could get outside and play before the sun decided to go down. I didn’t realize at the time that I was witnessing grandma and grandpa’s faith at work. They had lived through many trial and situations in life and through inspection of the scriptures and trials of life they found that the account of Christ to be real. Time with God in the morning was not an option for these two believers.
Later in life I was reminded to take into account their faith as I witnessed my grandfather in a nursing home. Grandpa had been in an auto accident with a semi which left his right side paralyzed. Grandma in her older age was not able to care for him and sorrowfully was forced to put him in the nursing home. The moment that I saw was their evening ritual. Grandma never missed a beat to visit grandpa in the evening so that they could pray together. They asked for privacy during this time. The rest of the family would wait outside in the hallway while you could hear mumbled prayers being said to God. If you denied that the mumbling was a need for privacy between two saints still in love or just chit-chat, there was no mistaking the next part of the nightly ritual. As clear as day one could hear the reciting of the Lord’s prayer in the hallway.
At the beginning of our reading in Luke today the author, Luke, is setting up his written work for his friend Theophilus. Luke’s account of the life of Christ is unique because it isn’t created by a person that actually witnessed the events of Christ’s life. Instead Luke carefully examined the stories and writings of eyewitnesses to put together his gospel. What was the purpose of his laborious research? Luke wants his friend to know beyond all doubt that Christ was the Savior. Theophilus needed to know that what he was being taught about Christ was reliable.
The thrilling idea to me at this moment is that I too have eyewitness accounts that have been recorded and preserved through the Holy Spirit inside the Scriptures. It is great to realize that the feeding of the five thousand was witnessed by men, recorded in the Bible, and given to me to help my faith that Christ is the Lord. I didn’t receive a letter directly from Luke but I have lived my life beside friends, grandparents, parents, and others that have searched the Bible and other types of thought to find that the teachings of the Bible are truth.
The pondering that this short introduction builds in me is wondering if others see this excitement that I have from my faith. Do people see my faith as real or as a ritual that I must perform weekly? Will my children look back on their childhood and be proud of their father that strove to walk out his faith? Is my life showing signs of my faith in Christ or is it merely showing signs of what TV shows I enjoy watching?