Continuing a Loving Legacy

by Pastor Dan

I am often reminded about the way things used to be, and I think this year, I am reminded more than ever before.  Yes, the past does bring good memories, but not just because of nostalgia but because of the people that made those memories.  However, since some of those people are no longer living, who is going to pass on that sense of purpose and the dream that goes with it?  

This year, for my wife and I, it has been a year with a lot of change.  My uncle and mom passed away within a couple of months of each other.  Sadness filled our lives from this loss, but we were also filled with a joy that they knew Jesus Christ and they now reside with Him in heaven.  This loss did bring another realization to me:  This was the last of a generation.  Both were the last of their siblings to pass away.  

A few months later, my father-in-law passed away, and we moved my mother-in-law into our home.  On move-in day, my children and their spouses along with my grandchildren all came over to pitch in, each with their own task to complete.  We were all working toward the common goal for this move:  to make their Mom/Grandma feel comfortable and loved even in the loss of her spouse of many years.  A few hours later, my sister came over and, having observed this, remarked to me that our dad would have been blessed to see the family working together in love and respect for each other.  It struck me at that point that the way things were as I knew it as a child had indeed gone, but things are here in me to create a nostalgia and continue a legacy by passing it on to the next generation.
I am reminded of a Bible story in 2 Chronicles 10 when Rehoboam was taking over as king from his father.  People came to him and were asking him for fewer taxes and labor because they believed Rehoboam’s father was too hard on them.  The new king told the people to wait three days for his reply.  He then asked for advice from a group of people who used to counsel his father.  They told the new king to speak and be kind to the people.  Not liking the answer, he then asked a group of people of his generation what to do, and they said to be even harder and more demanding on the people.  The new king listened to the counsel of his generation, and it ended up causing a whole lot of grief for the new king.  It also created a thought in the minds of people to no longer work with the king for a common goal but rather to just look out for themselves.  

This Christmas season, I would like to encourage you to think about what was passed on to you.  If it was not a good example to follow, then make the changes necessary for those that follow you to change the world around you.  If you had a good example, then make the very best impression you can on those who follow you.  If you didn’t have a good example, seek God’s wisdom for guidance and work toward making a difference in the next generation.  I know the world is not a perfect place and never will be, but you can still do your part to affect another life and make someone feel special and blessed.
“The righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.”  Proverbs 12:26

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”  Ephesians 4:31-32

-Pastor Dan