Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power.~Psalm 145:4 NLT
“I have a chair that would look perfect there.”
Of Mom and Dad’s three sons, somehow, I received most of the family heirlooms. As family members aged, they either offered me these items or I asked for them. Since I’m a nostalgic kind of guy, I grabbed every piece of furniture and nick knack I could.
Then I got older and realized—as I’d always known—that I couldn’t take any of these things with me when I died. I wanted to pass them on to my children so these items would stay in the family. As I neared retirement, I began asking my two children about certain things and whether they would like to have them.
My daughter is not the sentimental type, so I must be selective in what I offer her. On one trip to Arkansas to visit her and her family, I noticed she had made a small breakfast nook just to the side of her kitchen and overlooking the backyard. She had purchased a chair from a local thrift store. That’s when I thought, Wouldn’t a family heirloom be better than a thrift-store purchase? Amazingly, she accepted her great-grandmother’s chair. She also agreed to take a picture that this same great-grandmother had hanging in her kitchen, along with a copper teapot that belonged to her other great-grandmother.
My son, on the other hand, takes anything I offer, so I’m sure he’ll end up with the bulk of our family heirlooms. But that’s okay. His sister doesn’t mind, nor do I, nor does my wife. As long as they stay in the family. Hopefully, one day, they will pass them along to their children.
The psalmist says there is something more important that we should pass along to our children and grandchildren: stories of the mighty acts of God. Jesus said something similar.
And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.”~Mark 16:15 NLT
Although I can’t pass along my faith to my children, or anyone else—that’s a personal decision everyone must make—I can pass along stories of my faith. I can tell how and when I trusted Jesus as my Savior, and I can share stories of how he has worked in my life. As I age, the stories multiply. I have chosen Christmas as the time when I share a big faith story about a family member with all my grandchildren.
God doesn’t want us to keep our faith heritage to ourselves. The Great Commission Jesus issued before ascending back into heaven urges us to share His love with others. People need to hear it. Their eternity depends on it. And forgiveness depends on their believing it. Passing along our faith heritage doesn’t require theological degrees or even special training. We merely pay attention to our words and actions as we circulate around others. When we do it right, they’ll get the picture.
What are some ways you can pass along your faith heritage?
Father God, give me opportunities to pass along my faith heritage.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
Copyright 2022: Passing the Heritage: Martin Wiles: All Rights Reserved