Sunday, January 01, 2012

From One Generation to the Next

A few weeks ago, Psalm 145 popped up in the lectionary (as it would have again this week had Christmas not been on a Sunday).   Verse 4 of the Psalm says, "One generation shall praise your works to another, and shall declare your power."  During evening prayer on a Sunday night a few weeks back, my wife and I stood in our living room as we said this Psalm together out loud.  As we stood together in praise and prayer, our one-year-old son crawled around our feet, crying and fussing and playing.  I could not help but think that this verse was being fulfilled at that moment.   It was a beautiful thing, and I thanked God for it.  

But then it hit me, not only were my wife and I the ones proclaiming to the next generation, but we were, in the moment, being recipients of others'  proclamation.  The reason why we were able to declare God's mighty acts to each other and to our son was because so many generations before have done the same.  The very words we were reading on the printed page, a translation labored over and derived from manuscripts copied for generations by the hands of the faithful, these words, and the whole of the Bible as well, are a testimony of the Church living out this proclamation of God's works to the next generation.  The Bibles we read are themselves the fulfillment of Psalm 145:4.    

Praise God that, though She has many faults, the Church has always heeded Psalm 145:4 (and 2 Timothy 2:2) and has told each successive generation of God's great works.

  • Have you thanked God for this?  Have you thanked God that we know about the great things God did so many years ago (things we read about in the Scriptures)?  Can you thank Him right now? Thi
  • Have you told your family about God and the amazing things He's done in history? (And in your own life!?)  Can you do that this week? Christmas is the perfect time to do this.  If you have family in your home, you could just offer to read a short passage of Scripture during dinner.  Or if you see your family less often, you could simply ask a question next time to talk to them: "Isn't it amazing that God became a man?  Have you ever thought about it?"  (Or maybe you could think of a better way to talk about Christmas... that's just the best I could do.)
  • A note for parents:  It is your responsibility of parents (especially fathers) to see that your children know what it means to be a follower of Christ.  (Deut 6:5-9; Eph 6:4)  We do not have the luxury to let others do it (e.g. a Sunday school teacher or pastor); it is our great privilege and responsibility.  You may be thinking, "I don't know how!"  If that's you, I want to say two things to encourage you:
    1. I can promise you when you take steps to learn how to do something for which you were made, God honors those steps.  2. There are always people who can help you (your pastor would be one), but you'll have to be humble and hungry enough to ask.  

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