40 Verses Every Family Should Read Together

Our family journey through Lent 2016

I love communion.  I know some places and people feel they should only take communion from ordained ministers, or only on special occasions, or perhaps weekly on the Sabbath, but I like to take it myself at any time, any place, any day.  It started years ago after reading With Burning Hearts: a meditation on the Eucharistic Life by Henri Nouwen.  I honestly don't remember a word in it, but I do recall sometime in the midst of readying it dawned on me that I can break bread with Jesus all by myself any day.

My kids have therefore grown up giving themselves communion sporadically whenever their mama decides to spark interest.  But typically the matzah goes stale and the grape juice is slurped down with after school snacks without being replenished.  (Welch's grape juice is much more expensive than cheap apple juice!)  I also must note that there is something about taking communion with actual matzah swirled with dark juice that triggers a deep love and gratitude for Jesus within me.  It certainly isn't more holy than fresh baked bread and at times I'll swap out the juice for wine, but my go-to is Welch's with classic unsalted matzah.

On Ash Wednesday I decided that our family should have an opportunity to take communion every day through the Lenten season.  I wanted to make it easy, available, quick (because life calls for this).  So I stayed up that very night and noted 40+ verses that I felt our Oaks' Family should read.  These are the verses that I wanted my kids to be familiar with.  I wanted them to see how many of the positive life lessons they hear from culture actually come from the Holy Scriptures.  I wanted them to read by themselves some of the words Jesus tells us.  I wanted our whole family to hide the same scripture in our hearts each day - I believe there is power in that.

So I'll list the 40+ verses if you would like to use them for your own family.  They are short and clumped together in weekly themes.  Simple enough for elementary kids to read on their own.  And simple enough to take us grown adults back to the basics of faith.  Our family reads the verse on their own, sometimes aloud or with a sibling or two, and takes communion by themselves.  Typically taken before school, but sometimes before bed or whenever we all can grab a moment to do it.  I try to catch a 9, 11, 13 or 15 year old interpretation from time to time, but that doesn't always happen.  I placed an open Bible with tiny cups for juice and a box of matzah right by the kitchen sink, thinking this was the easiest spot for a busy family.  One day I'll look back at splashed water stains on the pages or crumbs in the creases and praise God that a messy house can make a holy book even sweeter.


Where in my life have I gotten away from God and how can I find ways to return to Him with all my heart?

nothing has to be done in order... just pick a week and stick to it for a handful of days.

week 0

Ash Wednesday - Sunday 

  1. Isaiah 40:3-5
  2. Isaiah 43: 1-2
  3. Isaiah 43: 18-19
  4. Isaiah 53: 5-7
  5. Isaiah 55: 10-12

week 1

  1. Psalm 1: 1-3
  2. Psalm 23
  3. Psalm 42: 1-2
  4. Psalm 55: 16-19
  5. Psalm 66: 1-5
  6. Psalm 139: 13-14

week 2

  1. Proverbs 3: 1-6
  2. Proverbs 3: 9-12
  3. Proverbs 3: 21-26
  4. Proverbs 4: 20-27
  5. Proverbs 11: 13-14
  6. Proverbs 12: 24-25

week 3

  1. Proverbs 16: 3-4
  2. Proverbs 16: 9
  3. Proverbs 16: 23-24
  4. Proverbs 22: 4, 6-7
  5. Proverbs 28: 13
  6. Proverbs 28: 23

week 4

  1. Romans 8: 1-2
  2. Romans 8: 15-17
  3. Romans 8: 26-27
  4. Romans 8: 28
  5. Romans 8: 31-32
  6. Romans 8: 37-39

week 5

  1. Ephesians 1: 17-18
  2. Ephesians 2: 4-7
  3. Ephesians 2: 8-10
  4. Ephesians 3: 16-19
  5. Ephesians 3: 20-21
  6. Ephesians 4: 25-27

week 6

  1. Ephesians 4: 29-32
  2. Ephesians 5: 1-2
  3. Ephesians 5: 8-15
  4. Ephesians 5: 16
  5. Ephesians 5: 17-20
  6. Ephesians 6: 1-4

* Photo taken by Seaton Shoots Photography on the best day of my life, my wedding day.  Me and my beloved friend.

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