In deuteronomy (11:18) there is a passage that haunts me sometimes, "You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise." Notice anything?
Everytime I look at this passage I see God telling us what to be in our every day life to show our children religion. He doesn't talk about loading into the minivan and carting them off to the stepford women in the church nursery. He doesn't tell us where to send them on Wednesday nights to recite things over and over until their faith is trained in them like a soldier headed to battle.
God calls us to nurture our children. He calls us to see examples of him in every day life and to point them out to our children and then to talk to them about them when we are home and they feel safe. He calls us to teach them to pray, to love, to forgive, to worship... from our homes and from our day to day journeys.
Do you know why? I think I do. I sit in church and I look around me at a hundred faces. Some of them are really there, really listening but some of them are searching and some of them still are there blankly waiting for the time to pass. I see people who say 'but I'm a good Christian' just before they get in their car and cut someone off in the parking lot impatiently cursing the two second delay.
God knows we can fake it.
I think he calls out to us to be more than a Sunday sermon. He calls out to us to be his voice on Monday, and Tuesday, and Wednesday and every other day of the week. He calls on each of us to be our own kind of Christian so that while you give your personal witness to the people who are just like you... I can give my sermon to someone who is just like me.
Because somewhere out there is someone who is lost, just like I once was, and they curse like a sailor but they love like a mother lion and they are waiting for someone to call them aside and tell them "it's ok to curse when you pray because God already knows you and loves you and he knows you curse... but he wants to hear from you anyhow".
So while he sends you to Raley's on Friday afternoons or to baseball games or to the opera or to where-ever God sends you, I'll be talking to the hippy chicks, the attachment parents, the library staff, the farmer's market vendor and the girl with the spider tattoo... because that's what he put me here for... and that's what he's asked me to show my daughter.