“O God, we have heard it with our own ears— our ancestors have told us of all You did in their day, in days long ago:” Psalms 44:1 NLT
What legacy has my ancestors left me? There is the cache of memorabilia at the back of a cupboard. My father’s war medals. My mother’s diary and items of jewellery. A box of photographs. An unusual item of furniture from a great-aunt. But what about “all [God] did in their day”? My parents were very private in their faith and have left little, if anything, to describe their experience of God. Not even a reference on a tombstone. But what about me? What faith and God-experience legacy will I leave my children and grandchildren? And even beyond to future generations? Will it just be an epitaph below my name and life-dates on a marble monolith, located in a graveyard somewhere? Or will I just leave a Bible with a few notes in the margins? Will that be the only legacy I will leave?
Traditional Jewish families were very good at story telling, and particularly the wonderful stories of what God did in the lives and circumstances of their ancestors. The Red Sea and Jordan crossings. The David and Goliath story. The first Passover. But I don’t want to fall back on the stories of previous, more recent, generations. The exploits of men and women like John Wesley or Charles Finney. Smith Wigglesworth or Corrie Ten Boom. I want to leave my descendants something significant from my life. Something wonderful that God has done for me. Of course, there will be many small things that happen in the lives of faith-filled Christians, as God’s people look to Him for guidance and provision. But there will also be bigger things, and I can look back at the way my wonderful God answered my cries for help when my daughter was at death’s door in a hospital bed. When a boat journey was perilous and all I could do was call on His name as He helped to steer my boat to a safe harbour. And that wonderful time when porpoises interacted with me and my grandchildren when boating on the Sound of Jura.
But today’s verse encourages me to be more vocal with my God-life experiences. So that the next generations can hear what God has done for me because I choose to communicate as often as possible all that God did in my day. So that my ancestors can tell of memories of “days long ago”.
So let’s ask the question this morning, “What legacy will I leave my ancestors?” Hmmm….