When you think of religious teaching, what do you think of?
I'm guessing that for a lot of us, the first thing that comes to mind is rules and regulations.
Or perhaps we think of doctrine, dogma, and indoctrination. Perhaps we think of creeds, catechisms, and Bible verses that are harsh and unyielding, with little room for creativity, imagination, and broad thinking.
That's why I love these words from Moses. Spoken at the end of his life, they describe how he hopes people will view his teachings.
Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants. --Deuteronomy 32:2
Is it possible that religious instruction, or even a sermon on Sunday morning, might be winsome and nourishing? Might it bring beauty and refreshment into the lives of those who receive it?
Notice that the plants are described as "tender" and "new". Dew does not bruise or break, but gently brings the gift of life that transforms deserts into a lush and verdant paradise.