Saturday, thanks to a friend, I had two tickets to the Home Opener at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Andrew was in town for the weekend do we had a father and son day as we watched Alabama take on Middle Tennessee. We were not the only father-son duo there. Sitting a row behind us was a dad and his 9 year old son. They were dressed in Crimson and White, had shakers, Cokes, and popcorn. I listened pre-game as this young father explained the traditions at Bryant-Denny. How the band was spelling BAMA and pointed out the Elephant that The Million Dollar Band made as Big Al lead them in Tusk. This dad pointed out how everyone used their shakers during Sweet Home Alabama (Roll Tide Roll).
Then as the game got under way, this dad patiently explained why Alabama went “three and out” on their fist possession and then explained why they got the ball back after a fumble. Every play, every possession, this dad shared the love of the game. It was a special day for this father-son duo.
As special as that day and those moments were for them, they were special to me as I sat next to my college freshman. It does not seem that long ago that I took him to his first BAMA game sharing a my love of the game and of the band. Now he will be on the John-Mark Stallings Field at Falkner University, not playing football, but as a part of the Marching Eagle Band. I should mention that I am excited about their upcoming home game.
Yet, there is another event that I am thinking of. One that plays out not just on a special Saturday in Fall, but one that plays out every Sunday – somewhere. I witnessed such an event recently.
A young family sat together during worship. The youngest child is just reaching that age when they are curious about what they see their parents doing during worship. The were about to join in the Lord’s Supper (Communion) and this little one asked why they were eating crackers? I could not hear what Mom or Dad said, but I heard them explaining. The next question was about grape juice. I love witnessing families passing on what they love. I love watching them encourage their children to sing with the congregation. I love seeing families teaching their children about God and the Church so that when the children mature, they can make a decision about faith for themselves.
God always planned for parents to teach their children lessons of faith. In Joshua 4 the Israelites set up stones where they crossed the Jordan as God command them. Joshua explained why, “And he said to the people of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in times to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.” (Jos 4:21-22).
We are quick to pass along our love of football, baseball, music, good food, cars, hunting, fishing, and family traditions. May we be just as faithful at teaching our children about God, Christ, the Spirit, Christ’s Church, and the Faith.