Shema (“hear”) is the Hebrew word that begins the most important prayer in Judaism. It is found in Deuteronomy 6:4, which begins with the command to “Hear.” The whole Shema prayer, which includes verses 4-9, is spoken daily in the Jewish tradition:
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.
There is a discipleship lesson here that believers need to take to heart. Discipleship begins in the home. It is primarily the job of parents to disciple their children as they put these verses into practice. It is not the Pastor’s job. It is not the Kid’s Pastor or the Youth Pastor’s job. It is the job of parents. Note some of the admonitions to parents:
- Impress (these commandments) on your children
- Talk about them… when you sit, when you walk, when you go to bed, when you get up – in other words… all. the. time.
To say it another way, the conversation around the house should constantly and continuously be centered around the Word of God. Parents need to be men and women of the Word so that they can instruct their kids according to the Scriptures – not according to Dr Spock or Oprah or Dr Phil or the best parenting books on the market.
Shema! Here! Listen up! The Lord is saying that if you get this right – if you diligently put these verses into practice in your home, then THIS will happen. And you will be glad. I promise you.