My Dear Sisters and Brothers,
As I write this I have West Virginia on my mind so I greet you today with “Holy Howdy.” I hope and pray all is well with you, your wonderful families and all GOD has entrusted to you. Welcome to August. Wow! Can it really be August so soon?
Our summer sermon series is what I call “Hopscotching through the Old Testament.” We have been looking at some of the life stories of famous characters in the Old
Testament jumping from Abraham to Joseph to Moses to David and beyond. I know many don’t really enjoy the Old Testament but I have always enjoyed reading those old stories that seem to be more and more relevant with each passing day. Such is the Holy Spirit and the Bible, that living and active two-edged sword, which can connect us to ancient stories in real time which resonate with our hearts and draw us closer to God.
As I have been working my way through the books of Samuel, Kings and Chronicles, I have been struck with a singular, jarring thought: “What legacy will you leave
behind?” Legacy – a word I hear most often at funerals. Legacy – in recent weeks I have been deeply moved to hear of the living legacies left by beloved members of our congregation as we have celebrated their lives during memorial services; legacies that live long after the builder has departed the earth; legacies that continue to impact their loved ones and the world around them, dare I say it, forever!
In reading through the Old Testament and listening to the legacies of those I know here on earth I am convinced that a long-lasting, positive, life-transforming legacy is not built on perfection or power but on love, grace and humility. I think of King
David who certainly lived an incredible life of slaying giants and leading his nation brilliantly but David had mega-sized moral failures as well and yet his legacy as
stated through Kings and Chronicles was that “David’s heart was fully devoted to the Lord (I Kings 15:3).” Interesting to me, so much was made of the incredible wisdom of Solomon, his wealth, his power, his personal fame and yet to my reading his legacy is never mentioned in Kings and Chronicles. Is that because he didn’t really leave one?
We will continue to chew on the legacies of our Old Testament heroes over the next several weeks but I want to challenge us. Have you ever thought about what legacy you will leave for your spouse, your children, your church, your world? How will you be remembered when you leave this earth? Will you live in such a way that your
legacy will reverberate and resonate in this world long after you are gone? For me to answer these same questions it comes down to how I choose to live in the here and now. Is my life marked by those seemingly fading characteristics of power or fame or celebrity or wealth or personal preference which solely exalt the holder for a brief time? Or is my life marked by faith, trust, love, grace, generosity and forgiveness which reflect on the glory of the One who died so that we might all have life?
What will my legacy be? What will your legacy be? What will our legacy be as First United Methodist Church of Port St. Lucie? May GOD richly bless you as you richly bless all those around you by living, loving and leading like Jesus.