It was only a little bug house

It was only a little bug house

The other evening I was mowing my lawn as the sun was going down. As the darkness settled in, there in front of the mower rose a flash of light. A firefly. Then two. Then three. Soon my backyard was ablaze with the beauty of fireflies.

Seeing those fireflies brought a vivid memory to mind. I was five years old and was catching fireflies out behind our little Cape Cod on Dousman Street in Prairie du Chien. My dad built a bug house for me, and I was intent on bottling up as many of those bright yellow lights inside of it as I could. We spent many happy evenings outside chasing down the lightning bugs.

As I sat there, mower in hand, it was only natural, I suppose, that I began to imagine my own son, a few years in the future, with the same look of wonder on his face, chasing down lightning bugs and putting them in a house his father built for him.

Such is the power of something as small and insignificant as a little bug house my dad slapped together for me in a few minutes. But I’m not telling you this because I’m nostalgic. I bring it up because it illustrates how the small things can have such an impact on a person’s life. Think how important that is when we’re talking about raising our children and passing on to them the truths of God’s Word. We can all recite the big things that we do to share the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord with the next generation. We bring our kids to worship. We have them baptized. We operate a Lutheran elementary school so that they can learn God’s Word in the classroom every single day. We have Sunday School lessons and Youth Ministry get-togethers. All of those big things are very important. They are opportunities for the Spirit to do his work of creating and strengthening faith through the means of grace.

But let’s not lose sight of the small things. Mealtime prayers, family devotions, and bedtime hymns are all “bug houses” that do much more than bring up sweet reminiscences. Those small things shape and form faith because they, too, bring the Word of God to bear on a child’s life. As we look into the future, we all want our children to have that Word implanted deeply in their hearts and lives. Keep that in mind as you go about your daily routines. It will make the small things all the more meaningful.

-Pastor Moldenhauer