Friday, August 17, 2012

Piano Keys and Faith Keys

Quite a while back my wife wrote a really nice reflection for her congregation about nurturing faith at home that I thought I'd share here.  (She refers to "Professor Martinson" who is Rollie Martinson of Luther Seminary in Saint Paul.)

Piano Keys and Faith Keys

My youngest daughter Rebecca began playing the piano about 15 months ago and is really enjoying the experience.  She has a weekly lesson with her piano teacher and has participated in 3 piano recitals so far with one coming up June 5. 

Sometimes it’s hard to fit in the practicing at home in between lessons but we keep finding that what’s necessary for her development as a piano musician is to keep up a consistent practice time at home. And we have found that it’s best when I sit down at the piano bench with her and help her.  We count out loud together.  I check her finger positions.  I ask her to read the notes out loud to be sure she’s got them right.  It just goes better in these beginning years when I can guide and help her.

This made me think about the way that the church “does” faith formation with our children and youth.  Somehow as parents we have the idea that if we bring our kids to worship or even just Sunday school, they will gain all that they need for a life of faith.  It’s like bringing your child to the weekly piano lesson but never touching the piano in between the lessons.

It takes time and practice at home to grow in piano skills and it takes time and practice to grow in faith.  So, as parents and grandparents, our “job” is to be that coach, that mentor, that helper in the home so that our children can learn and develop their faith practices.

What could that look like?  Professor Martinson outlined “4 Keys to Nurturing Faith” that families can practice at home:
  • Caring Conversations
  • Family Devotions
  • Family Service Projects
  • Family Rituals and Traditions

Over the next few months we will be exploring these “4 Keys” and sharing thoughts and ideas that you can practice at home with the young people in your lives.  The more we practice these 4 keys, the more we will grow together in faith.

I help my daughter with her piano practicing because it helps her master the piano pieces she has been given.  But there is an added delight!  The more time I spend helping her, the more my own piano knowledge (long forgotten) is rekindled and I relearn the old lessons from long ago.  And we get to spend time together, side by side.  We are even practicing a duet for the piano recital.

That’s what happens when families practice their faith together in the home. Not only does your child’s faith grow but your own relationships are strengthened from the time you spend together, loving and serving God.
So, let’s get ready to explore, practice and make some faith music together!

Pastor Kisten